Greetings from the sizzling north! We had a cool, wet spring here, and now it is making up for it with a vengeance. Up here in the cool mountains, we are usually the envy of the “flatlanders” who live down on the windy, hot prairie, and I guess we still are, but not by much. Yesterday my thermometer registered a high of 48 degrees Celsius (which is 119 degrees Fahrenheit for those of you still anchored in the last century). Granted, that thermometer is a cheap one, and it was probably in the direct sun, next to a heat-reflecting building, but still, it was HOT. We Nanooks aren’t used to that. It was so hot all I could do was lie in a darkened room, panting and eating chilled cherries. I tried to get out and get to work, but it just was not in the cards for this Polar-ized person. Normally we get a day here or there when it might hit 90 F., but our forecast for the next week is over 90 every day. And, as if that weren’t enough, thunderstorms are also predicted. Set this place on fire.
I was listening to the Canadian Broadcast Corporation this morning, and they reported on the demise of the back-yard skating rink. When I was a kid growing up in Massachusetts my dad (who is from Canada) used to make a big, circular snowbank, then flood the center and let it freeze into a skating rink. It’s as much a national pastime of Canada as Thanksgiving is of America. Well, the winters up there have gotten so Milquetoast they can’t get their skating rinks frozen properly any more. Even up there, they were talking about the demise of downhill skiing as a viable sport! And at the G8 summit, which is supposed to be all about money and how to give rich people more of it, they actually addressed the issue of how many species are going extinct. Given all of that, I guess a few really hot days are nothing to worry about.
I’m often surprised at just what people do worry about. I have one customer who feels compelled to re-adjust the doormat in front of my office door every time she enters. It’s a joke amongst the knowing, who will come in and say “Shirley’s been here!” and gaily point to the meticulously placed mat. I have a neighbor who turns an interesting shade of purple as he spits and stutters in venomous rage about the weeds in my yard as if my appreciation of native wildflowers is indicative of the worst sort of moral lapse. And the letters to the editor! Golly, it’s a field day of misplaced aggression there, with rants about dog ordinances and vitriol in connection with what pop singers should or should not do. Alongside all that will be the blithe dismissal of things that seem to matter a lot more, like domestic poverty and illiteracy, the erosion of civil liberties and, of course, overwhelming scientific evidence that the world is heating up.
Oh, well, now help me down off this soap box. I sure hope you have nothing to worry about.