Who expects rain in January?

After this past week, I can’t help but believe global warming is impacting us.
I would never have expected rain in the second week of January. Instead, I would have expected frigid temperatures—the kind that takes your breath away just stepping outside.
I shouldn’t complain about milder weather and its effects. But after shovelling water-logged snow for the second time this winter, I am convinced that light, fluffy snow is much preferred.
That light, fluffy snow produces higher piles but at least you can lift and shovel it.
I live on Second Street East and I commend Public Works for their diligence in keeping the road clear of snow and ice, as well as sanding the streets. It eventually will end up on the boulevard, but it does make driving safer now.
But on Saturday morning, the air turned a little blue as I chiselled out the frozen snow that filled my driveway. It just wasn’t fun.
It is the second time this winter that we’ve had rain followed by snow. I can’t ever remember it happening twice in one season before.
The snow had frozen to my driveway, as well. So what might have been a half-hour of shovelling turned to well over an hour.
I remember back to Januarys where the daytime temperature seldom rose above minus-18 C (zero F) for the entire month, and those temperatures also seemed to hover there for much of February.
Any snow we received probably was ice crystals settling out of the air.
The air was so cold, in fact, that warning lights were installed on Central Avenue where the paper machines belched steam into the air that hugged the ground so that you couldn’t see 50 feet in front of you.
As I write of this, I remember how my hydro bills and gas bills spiked during January and February. I also seem to remember the occasional overloads of electric substations that have caused power outages in the community.
Those outages all came under the worst conditions for linemen to be working outdoors.
As a youngster delivering papers back in the 1960s, my parents bought me felt boots. And over top of them, I wore zippered rubber overshoes. They were warm.
Later, one-piece winter boots were designed, and my brother and I were among the first to have them for delivering papers.
The most fashionable footwear were “Sorel” boots manufactured by Kaufman in Kitchener. If you wore Sorels,” your parents knew that you wouldn’t freeze your toes outside.
You don’t see those boots as often as you used to. I still have a pair that I dig out at least once a year, which are more than 40 years old now.
I’ve gone through several felt liners, but the boots remain as warm as ever. And the softer rubber provides much better traction on the ice in my driveway.
I was wearing those old trusted boots on Saturday.

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