Snow’s return welcomed

What a difference a week makes.
A week ago Sunday, the sun shone brightly and the mercury moved above zero Celsius, making us all believe that winter was approaching its conclusion.
It then remained mild for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and we received rain instead of snow.
On that Monday, I had walked to work early in the morning and literally skated across the intersections. By mid-afternoon, the pebble in most parking lots would have made for excellent curling conditions for the Northern Ontario men’s playdowns being held here.
By Wednesday, the sidewalks had become a giant soup bowl filled with water, slush and snow.
Then it turned cool again.
Marnie and I try to get out for a walk most evenings and on weekends, but we were discouraged because of the rain. When we began again, we learned that slush and water along the sidewalks had all frozen. The sidewalks were filled with frozen ridges. Hollowed out footprints crisscrossed each other.
We picked our way along, finding high spots or areas that had frozen even. Walking had become a balancing act as we picked our way along the sidewalks.
We had a great workout.
Then our Sunday walk along the river had both of us ready to open our winter jackets as the sun beat down on us. The thermometer read minus-seven or minus-eight, but we both could feel the heat of the sun penetrating through our jackets.
Then I awoke Monday morning and actually greeted the snow with a smile. As I write this column, a walker has just passed by. The frozen ruts have filled in and she was not slowed.
The snow again has hidden the black snow and softened the edges around the house. The evergreens in the neighbourhood have their branches holding on to the soft snow.
Snow clings to the top side of branches on the other trees. Rough bark has grabbed onto the snow, painting many lower trunks white.
The snowflakes are not big, but they are welcomed.

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