Here is a column written for the Observer, May 20
I wrote the letter below last fall, but did not get around to doing anything with it. Since then, we had such a nice winter, hardly any cold or snow until after Christmas, and really, not that much since, while Eastern Canada was hammered with one of their worst winters ever, and BC drowned. Spring is right on time; the poplars are leafing out at least a week earlier than average, and we had a lot of nice days in April. While it snows in Alberta and eastern Ontario.
So when I heard a bunch of complaining about how cold it is this week (May 15), I snapped. I dug out this old letter, and here it is. If the shoe fits, you might be Mr. Whiner.
September 20, 2014
Dear Mr. Whiner
I have heard enough. ‘Oh, we have had no summer at all’. ‘No wonder the tomatoes didn’t ripen, it hasn’t been warm enough’ ‘I am still waiting for August’ ‘We got our share of Climate Change, but we sure didn’t get any Global Warming this year’. Mr. Whiner, please shut up!!
It is the end of September, it is 70 above out there, the sky is that bright luminescent blue it gets in late summer, clear as a bell, the air is so breathable, not too dry as on the prairies or too humid as down below the Great Lakes. Makes you feel good just to be outside today, but everyday too – you can dress for 40 below, but you can’t undress enough for 100 above! Clear, sunny winters, that February thaw to make your ice-fishing adventures a pleasure; long spring days, breathable summer air, and so on.
Our lawns are still bright green, not turning brown as in Old Ontario this time of year. We got more than usual new growth on the forest trees this year, especially the evergreens, and oh by the way; evergreens do not turn brown in the winter.
We have a bumper crop of wild berries and tree fruit this year, partly because we did not have a killing frost after about May 20 until a week or so ago. Lots of blueberries, chokecherries, pin-cherries, cranberries, apples, plums. Everybody seems to be having a great season’s fishing, more and bigger than in recent years. I am seeing more partridges along the roads than in recent years.
What a wonderful part of the world we are privileged to live in, with our myriad lakes and varied landscape from farmland to world-class forests. And climate, just watch the weather channel for about 20 minutes, and you will see what I mean, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, typhoons, hurricanes, drought and monster fires. Not here!
The problem is that being part of Ontario, we are treated to an endless procession of transplants from the big smoke. They have been conditioned that anything past Sudbury is uninhabitable, and if we are a thousand miles past Sudbury, they have been consigned to purgatory. Apparently they cannot comprehend that we are west, not north, from Sudbury. In fact, I just read on Wikipedia that northern Ontario is kept frigid by icy blasts off the west coast of Hudson’s Bay, completely innocent of any comprehension that Hudson’s Bay is 800 miles downwind from here, more likely to put an icy blast on Toronto than Dryden! Shows how dumb they really are!
You see what you look for – if you look for roses, you will see roses, if you look for thorns, you will see thorns. Of course some who come here see the roses, and become permanent residents, ‘settlers’ rather than ‘frontiersmen’ by my definition. But too many see only thorns, and form a ‘fifth column’ of eastern transplants, keeping up an endless drumbeat of negativity, reinforced by the Toronto prejudice always there on TV. The sad part is that local people who don’t get around much are coming to believe the negative crap.
So shut up, Mr. Whiner, don’t listen to the ‘educated’ folk; make up your own mind, see the roses and ignore the thorns in our unique western Ontario geography and climate (that’s western, not northern); enjoy your piece of the world. Become an ambassador, not a Whiner!