By Jonah Kondro
I live in a weird place. I’m not actually talking specifically about Rimbey, though Rimbey is its own weird little place — in a good way. I’m talking about living in Alberta and particularly living each year through four discernable seasons.
It’s too bad that winter has to last so long. Spring and fall seem to span over just the right amount of time, summer is too short, and well, winter seems to drag on forever like a rusty old tail pipe dragging under an old pickup truck. That’s one of the things about our winters: they last so long we lose sight of their exotic nature.
Snow is pretty exotic. Especially to those who have never actually experienced snow before. In these parts exotic is usually reversed for descriptions of vacations spent far away and in warmer climates. I remember the first time I was in California and saw a palm tree, I couldn’t stop looking at them because I had never seen one before (except in the movies). I’m sure the employees at In and Out Burger thought I was half crazy sitting outside and staring up at the palm trees that grow in the small dirt plots in the parking lot.
Winter is the pits. There is snow, which can be great if you ski or like riding snow machines, but there is no palm trees. I’m sure if you comb the feeds of some social media websites you could find a yahoo in a snowsuit chilling out in a hammock slung up between two spruce trees. Hammocks are a good time, but I want mine in between a couple of palm trees: and maybe there is a beach, an ocean, and a couple of coconuts within arm’s reach to complete the picture.
Sometimes I look up from my car, to take a moment from brushing off the snow, and peer at the birds sitting up in trees in the cold winter air. Those creatures can just take flight, flap hard enough, and end up in almost any climate better than ours.But they don’t. They just sit in the trees and watch a schmuck like me scrap the frost off his windshield and unplug the block heater cord.
Then again I guess I could get a plane ticket south, borrow a bicycle, find a beach, and live out an existence consisting of coconuts, love, and a lengthy subscription to a hammock. But like the birds, I put up with the snow, cold winter air, and wonder when I can put the snow brush away and tuck the block heater cord back under the hood.
That’s the realization I have about the weird place where I live—I like it here. I imagine I’ll get back down to California again,or even farther south where it’s mandatory to have a little umbrella in the coconut you are drinking from. Maybe I’ll flap hard enough and end up in Australia, find a burger joint, and stare at the kangaroos in the parking lot while I eat a burger garnished with beetroot and seasoned with Vegemite.