Spring has come to Dublin! We have arrived back from a glorious ski trip to find bulbs pushing their heads out of the soil and the ground ready for planting.
But before we embrace the springtime, a look back at the winter. It was actually pretty formidable weather here. Maybe it didn’t have the gigantic snowfalls of Canada’s east side or the dry deep freezes of the west, but still. It did freeze and there was snow. Pipes froze and burst and thawed and leaked. People were without water and unable to get places because the roads were so icy. And they were icy, even from a Canuck’s point of view.
Winter driving is easy with good tires and a small army working through the night to clear and sand the roads for your morning commute, but there’s not much point here in buying grit or salt or chains or all-season tires. And the prevalence of ice was really something here. I’ve driven the Yellowhead from Sherwood to St. Albert in freezing rain, and I’d lay odds that while not exactly fun, it was far more… possible(!) than getting traction on the goat paths that serve as roads through the hills in Wicklow. I myself chose not to drive for the duration.
Still there were some wins. By the first good freeze, boys were out in parking lots learning to pull doughnuts. My neighbour figured out the classic mini-van dust-off with his broom. People left work early to beat traffic and falling temperatures on the road surfaces. (Definitely should’ve done that all those nights I wasted half a tank sitting in traffic on St. Albert Trail.) There were probably 10 snowmen per square kilometer on average in town during those weeks. And of course, there was great appreciation of snowball fights. We even cavorted on a skating rink!
The best part was being able to share what I love and hate about my homeland, and my Irish friends being practically there with me!