Thursday, November 05, 2009

A Scent of Pineapple

I struck up a conversation with a woman as we were waiting in the Dentist's office the other day. As is common, we began by discussing the weather.

The weather here in the Cariboo has felt a little strange, lately. In October, there were occurrences of Arctic Air, which dropped our temperatures well into the minus category. We had Snow, which I would have enjoyed much more, had I known it was only going to last a day. Then the Rains came, in fits and starts, along with much warmer and Sun-filled weather.

The lady shook her head, as we talked about the anomalies we were experiencing. She is keen on snowmobiling and Ice fishing; she felt with the lack of cold weather, perhaps her hobbies would not be available this year.

She said...What will I do during the long Winter, if there is no Snow or Cold, to freeze the Lakes?

Quite honestly, I did not know how to reply to her comment. A Winter without Snow is right up my alley...I would be ecstatic if this were to occur!

We discussed the Coast,
from where I have recently moved. I told her a Winter without Snow was quite common there, and the Snow which did fall rarely lasted long, although last year the Coast received an Arctic blast, which included much Snow. I told her, as well, that the warmer temperatures we have enjoyed lately remind me so much of Fall days on the Coast, where I would be planting bulbs and enjoying the Fall colour.

Of course, she knew all this, as she had cousins who had moved South to Vancouver Island. And she told me they would call and tell her they were mowing their lawns as early as February. She would tell them, in return, of the beau
tiful, blue, sunny days here in the Cariboo, where she could ride her snowmobile for miles and miles, without fear of Rain. But, she reiterated, she couldn't do this without Snow...

Later, sitting in the dentist's chair, I mused about our differences, a born and bred Cariboo resident and Island girl.

To me, there is no doubt both places are beyond beautiful. Mother Nature has outdone herself in the province of BC. She has
carved and smoothed Valleys and Mountains, Rivers, and Lakes. She has molded the beaches and craggy cliffs for the Pacific Ocean, which laps all along the shore. She has built high, semi-arid plains and plateaus...there is a place in the Chilcotin which I swear cracks my heart a little, each time I visit.

In so doing, she has built a Land which has a place to please everyone's wishes and desires, as she honours our differences.

I think about how I have recently felt I am beginning to know and
understand the Cariboo and her people. I have lived here almost two years; during that time I have gained a little knowledge of the Land and its weather.

I consider...would I really understand a Winter here without Snow and the atten
dant Cold? It would feel strange. This is not the Cariboo way, it is the Island way. Some people who have lived here all their lives have built their livelihoods around Winter and his playground.

While I...I have built my life around green gardens and walks along a wind-swept beach, with scudding black clouds in the distance, promising Rain. On the Coast, there is always the promise of Rain...

So, of course, Rain and the soft, southerly Wind is completely known and welcomed by me. It is what I hanker for; sometimes I will go out onto the deck to fully embrace the lashings of Water thrown at me by that gracious South Wind, as she takes me back to the beaches of the Island.

At the same time, I have learned to love the extremes I exper
ience in the Cariboo. I feel as if the inhabitants here are as attuned to the Land as I am. People here, it seems to me, have learned to listen, gaining knowledge and therefore, power over the extremes. They know each Season well. They know what to expect.

And through innocuous conversations such as this one and others, I am learning to accept, if not exactly embrace, the length, breadth and Cold of the Winter Season.

But. As I told the lady in the dentist's office, right now, today, I am enjoying unseasonably warm, lovely weather.

And...right now, today, I am going for a walk outside, to sniff out the scent of Pineapple on the breeze.

Winter will arrive soon enough.


  1. I live in rainy Oregon, but even it suits me better than the farther Northland where you are. Coastal or inland, it would be too dark and cold in winter to suit me, but then that is the case here too. If I were alone, I can envision myself in place like Southern California where it's summer all year.

  2. I'm afraid I will never understand the minds (and bodies) of people who long for cold and snow. Since earth temperatures have gotten measurably colder for the last ten years I'm not sure what they worry about either.

  3. While my heart is aching a little more for Winter each day, I too am enjoying this warm weather! Little fingers don't need cumbersome mitts on days like today!

  4. Hanker. Now, that's a good word. Here in Chicagoland we are experiencing some warmth and sun and temperatures nearing 70. Like you, I know our winter approaches, but today I lowered (remember when we used to say rolled down, least we Southerners did) the car's windows and embraced the fresh air. Nary a cloud to be found.

  5. I am sitting with sun shining through the windows. Across the Strait of Georgia I can see a dusting of snow on the tops of the mountains on Vancouver Island. The water is gray though, because more clouds are heading this way, ready to give us another dousing. What I love about the coast is the type of rain we get. It's more like sprinkles that don't slow you down outdoors. Yes, we get a few downpours, but that's not the norm. With a hat to protect my head and a jacket over my shoulders I'm ready to enjoy Nature in any season. - Margy

  6. Snowbrush,

    I love Oregon beaches...I think even more than the California beaches. And Oregon campsites on the beaches are truly memorable. I've camped on some of them in January!

    As I age, I,too, look forward to living in a warmer climate than my present one. This will happen; I've just got to wait a few years!


    According to the book Weather of British Columbia, climate change will bring about more arid and warmer conditions in the province in the twenty-first century. So Winters will be shorter with less Snow. This could be terrible news for the Winter sports industries here.

    I'm with you, however, in that it takes a strong body to deal with the drastically cold temperatures here.


    See? There ARE people who live here who love the Winters...and you're one of them! And you know exactly what I'm talking about, although I believe 100 Mile House has more extreme weather than 150 Mile, which is strange, since you're South of us. But the saying up here is...if you get past 100 Mile on the highway south, you'll be alright (with regards to treacherous Winter driving)!


    Aren't those warmer days before Winter hits so inspiring...they make me want to do all sorts of things, quickly, before the bad weather hits.

    And you know what...I still say roll down the Windows! Guess I probably always will.

    I'm so happy you visited! Old friends are very important to me!

  7. Margy,

    I remember when I lived on the Coast, Rain rarely slowed me down. I'd put on a hat and a jacket which repels water and off I went. Its what I was accustomed to.

    Thank you for the lovely description of Powell Lake. I felt as if I was there with you, having a cup of tea and watching the Water and Clouds.

    I enjoyed your video of the water amazing it is to see the helicopter hover like that!

    thank you for visiting!

  8. I am stunned to hear that even where you are, winter is waning...

    Global warming is evident. :(

  9. Living in Oregon , we were surprised by the lack of thunder and lightening when the rains came often with tedious drippings.

    Living in south Texas (Matagorda Bay), were were amazed by the thunderstorms, lightening and clouds which rose heavenward to the heights of the sky. Early morning leavings in the sky like great sailing ships glowing in the morning sun.
    It was glorious !!

  10. Daisy,

    I guess the new term is climate change. Sometimes it makes more sense than global warming, because the weather can get worse (more precipitation, more storms). The polar ice caps are melting...which makes the term global warming more apropos.

    I'm glad you came by!


    Yes, that soft drip, drip, drip on the Coast is lovely, isn't it, lol! I understand what you are saying, however, after a few days of it it can get annoying.

    I love the sound of your bay and one day will visit it, I hope. The thunder and lightning here in the interior sounds much the same. I love the summer storms; yet they will cause forest fires up here, more often than not.

    I loved your description of the thunder and lightning storms, Goatman...I could really feel how glorious it was!