Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Spring (as in the season) (11/28/05)
By Naomi Deutekom
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It will continue to get worse until December 21st, when we reach the winter solstice. The days are supposed to get longer again after that, but I never seem to be able to tell the difference. Next comes Christmas followed by January, always long and cold. February is a challenge and March can roar in on its heals. No, spring is just too far away.
Soon it will reach -40C at night. If we're lucky it wonít stay there all day, but you never know. The snow is sifting down tonight, the wind blowing it in little swirls. The weather forecast is for colder and more snow over the weekend. No, spring is just a dim memory.
Tomorrow we start the kick off for the Christmas Hamper program. The reverse Santa Parade starts at 10:00 a.m. The volunteer fire fighters drive the trucks around town, the sirens announcing their coming. The 4H groups, Cubs and Beavers, Girl Guides and Brownies and members of other community organizations all ride the horse drawn wagons that follow the trucks. They collect donations of food, toys, and money to help the less fortunate of our community. No, spring is not on our minds. Not yet.
Those who are fortunate enough to have jobs that allow them to escape in the winter are looking forward to the break they will take in January or February. They desperately look for summer cloths and swim wear, now found only in pricey shops. The rest of us only dream of such vacations on sandy beaches and warm blue seas and try not to think of spring. Itís too soon.
When will it come? Spring thaws might begin in late March, but donít count on it. When April ends the snow should be gone, but donít forget those freak spring snow storms that can dump 18Ē over night and really mess up the roads.
Spring is different in the north. It isnít about little blossoms on trees, although they will eventually come. Nor is it about warm sunny days, green grass and croaking frogs. Itís about the disappearance of snow (usually several feet) the cessation of frost, lots of mud as the frost comes out of the ground, and rubber boots instead of sorels (big heavy insulated snow boots).
When things dry up the farmers start seeding their fields, gardeners plant produce and flowers, and the kids play outside for longer periods of time. The sun comes back and the days grow longer again. Ah, the sun! Thatís what spring is really about -the sun.
Spring? Itís a pleasant memory, but not one I want to dwell on just yet. I still have Christmas decorations to dig out and put up, Christmas baking to attempt, Christmas concerts and parties to attend, and community food hampers to deliver. Ask me about spring in April. Itís just too far away.
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