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COLUMN: Winter doesn’t want to let go

I know, I know, it’s an Alberta winter, so suck it up, it’ll be over when it’s over.
Snow Day KC

When I moved to Alberta from the Vancouver area two-and-a-half years ago, I knew I was trading mild and wet for sun and snow, but part of me was looking forward to experiencing a different climate for the first time in my life. I have to say I haven’t been disappointed.

Sure, there have been times when it’s been a little chillier than I would prefer, but it’s hard not to like the bright blue skies that are a lot more frequent here than they are on the West Coast.

As much as winter has been quite tolerable, even enjoyable, there comes a time when it’s appropriate to bid it adieu. After making it through January and most of February with unseasonably warm temperatures and limited snowfall, and with bare patches starting to show all around, I thought that might happen before even the calendar declared winter to be over.

Then came a big dump of snow followed by cold temperatures, and then some more snow and cold, dashing any hope that spring might arrive early.

Now, I’m not sure whether it was because I let myself dream of winter disappearing, but these latest wallops really did a number on my psyche. If the end isn’t in sight, the expectations aren’t there, but when the finish line appears near, only to be moved further away, it has a way of playing tricks on the mind.

I know, I know, it’s an Alberta winter, so suck it up, it’ll be over when it’s over. I appreciate the advice, but how do I wrap my head around the fact that clocks move forward an hour this weekend when there’s still a foot of snow on the ground?

Yes, you’re right, daylight saving time has been moved up over the years and is now taking place 10 days before winter is officially over, but isn’t the practice of turning the clocks ahead an hour commonly referred to as spring forward, with spring being the operative word? The whole clock thing is looked upon as a harbinger of a new season, a signal that it’s now light enough to get outside after dinner, which is less inviting when it’s double digits below and there’s still ice on the pathways.

My frame of reference when it comes to an Alberta winter is limited, but I do know that it doesn’t have to drag on forever. My first Edmonton-area winter definitely had its moments, but I do fondly remember the snow had all melted and I was playing golf on April 1. The course wasn’t in tip-top shape, as you can imagine, but that didn’t matter; the important takeaway is that it was already golf season on April 1, and in Edmonton of all places.

I’m learning that might have been an anomaly as the Edmonton winter didn’t disappear quite as quickly the following year and despite the move south, it doesn’t look promising this year either. I’m also learning that a lot can happen in three weeks, so I’m not giving up hope.

I know, I must accept that despite teasing otherwise, winter will only be done with us when it’s good and ready.