Monday, February 11, 2019

#MicroblogMondays: A midwinter blog rant

My blog has a label/category for "I hate November," but I'm thinking I need to add an "I hate February" category as well. ;) While I have many reasons to dislike November, I actually dislike February even more (November is, at least, is redeemed by its proximity to Christmas). A few reasons why:
  • February 8th was my LMP date for my ill-fated pregnancy, 21 years ago now. 
  • We now get a February holiday/long weekend here in Ontario (= next weekend/Monday) -- but it was slapped with the wince-inducing moniker of "Family Day" by politicians eager to appeal to "family values." (No doubt I will have another whine on that specific subject coming up soon. ;)  )
  • February weather sucks, to put in mildly.  
Ah yes, the weather...!  I get a lot of flak from my friends & relatives out west, where I grew up, if I dare to complain about the winter weather here in the GTA.  Yes, the temperatures are not quite as cold as they are on the Prairies, and there's usually not as much snow.  There's an old joke whenever people complain about the cold out west -- someone will add, "Yes, but it's a DRY cold."  Unless you've lived somewhere where it's a "wet" or damp cold, I'm not sure you can really appreciate the difference. I often say that I will take -40C in Manitoba any day over -20C in Toronto:  the "damp" cold can be bone-chilling in a way that the brisk cold in Manitoba is not -- and winters here tend to be overcast, grey & slushy.  It may reach -40C at times where I grew up -- but the sun shines a lot more there, and the snow will crunch & squeak under my boots. I miss that sometimes.

What also sometimes gets forgotten (or isn't realized) by people who don't live here:  the GTA is a pretty large area, with a large population and some of the worst traffic in North America -- and that's in GOOD weather. When the weather is bad, road traffic slows down even more, transit (buses, streetcars, subway trains and commuter trains) is delayed -- and tempers get short. There were many mornings, when we were working, that we would leave the house earlier than usual (in the dark) because the weather (and roads) were bad, to give us plenty of time to drive to the train station -- only to find, once we got there, that our train into the city was delayed because of frozen rail switches and doors that were too cold to shut properly -- and I would have to call my boss to say I would be late. (Sometimes, I would STILL get to the office ahead of her!) Once the train did arrive, it would be packed -- sometimes standing room only (for a 25 to 40 minute ride -- assuming there weren't any further delays...!).  I'd eventually arrive at work feeling frazzled and exhausted and generally ready to turn around and go home again. 

There were many afternoons when the same thing would happen in reverse -- train delays at Union Station, crowded waiting areas, crowded platforms, crowded train cars (anxious parents calling day care providers -- some of which charged $1 for every minute they were late past 6 p.m.), parking lot chaos (after you spent several minutes clearing & scraping the accumulated snow & ice from the roof, hood & windows of your car) -- and then snow to shovel from the driveway, sidewalks and front step when we finally did get home (in the dark), before we could even think about dinner.

Needless to say, I don't miss those days...! Being retired, we don't HAVE to be out driving in bad weather and on bad roads to get to work, or anywhere else. But it does mean that sometimes, depending on the weather and what else we have going on (e.g., laundry & housecleaning to do), we could go several days without leaving the condo. Cabin fever, anyone?? :p 

I guess I'm in a whiny/ranty mood about the weather in particular right now, because we are expecting a(nother) winter storm tomorrow, which may take the form of snow, freezing rain, or a little of both. Needless to say, we will likely be staying at home (AGAIN).  (I will take a straightforward blizzard ANY DAY over freezing rain.)

What's good about February?  Well, it IS only 28 days long. ;)

(Whine over. If you made it this far, thanks for listening/reading!)

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here.  


  1. Thinking of you. We don't forget these anniversaries, do we?

    Some months just suck. February in the Northern Hemisphere sounds a bit like that. Sounds a bit like our July or August. Except yours is 30 degs C colder. You are allowed to complain about the weather, even if other people have it colder. I think everyone is allowed to complain about the weather if it frustrates/inconveniences you. It seems to be the one area where Pain Olympics is still played out fully. "You think you have it bad, you should be here!" etc etc

    (I get it in reverse if I complain about being hot in the summer.)

    1. That's an EXCELLENT analogy, Mali -- the Weather Pain Olympics!

  2. Ugh. I feel for you. According to Punxsutawney Phil, we're suppose to have an early spring. My fingers are crossed that this holds true.

  3. Blechhhhh. February is terrible. It's hard to have those sad anniversaries, and then the weather is ALWAYS gray and horrible. I agree with you on damp cold vs dry cold (same goes for heat, give me a dry 100 over a humid 90 any day). These are the days where you just feel like you cannot warm up at all. I hate the slushiness of these latest storms -- I like when there's a good dumping of snow and it's pretty, but going straight to sleet and slush is disheartening. And screws with the traffic here too, although not nearly as bad as GTA! We went to Toronto two years ago February to see my dad on location, and wowza the traffic was horrid. I feel for you! May March come soon, although that has been snowier than other months in the past three years. I feel like we get the same weather!

  4. I hate Feb too. My dad died in Feb and it's also my step-daughter's birthday month. Then cleaning the car off in freezing weather to drive to work in it and in the dark. Then it's a long stretch without a day off from work so I feel I do is go to work.