Only Child on gardening and weather

 Only Child as a toddler  in the backyard garden with her late Mom

Only Child as a toddler in the backyard garden with her late Mom

Yesterday I spent a bit of time clearing some of the garden. Removing  the dead perennial stems and branches so that the tulips, crocuses and hyacinths could appear in all their glory (finally) helped bring on the illusion of spring. I say “illusion” because of all the crappy weather occurring in North America and elsewhere in the world. I’m not convinced spring is here to stay but I’m taking what is offered.

The ritual and actual practice of doing anything in the garden tends to slow me down, including my usual racing mind. I can admire the different colours (although mostly purples so far) and smell the hyacinths. I can check out the tulip plants and see the beginning of a bulb in one and imagine the red tulips that will emerge and colour my garden.

If the “weather” doesn’t mess it all up.

Not a fanciful worry if you take into account all the recent/current floods in Ontario’s cottage country, in Illinois and Texas and what is just waiting to happen in North Dakota and Manitoba. There was even a tornado in Shelbourne, Ontario over the weekend as well as snow in different parts of Canada and the US. Around the world there are earthquakes, snowstorms, heavy winds, droughts, extremely hot and humid weather, etc. – much of it way out of typical seasonal weather.

But nothing is normal about the weather on planet earth anymore. No matter where you live you can’t escape it. The mostly calm and normal weather when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in southern Ontario, Canada (Toronto to be exact) no longer exists. Sure we had hot humid summer days (and no air conditioning). My mother used to set up the card table and chairs in the shade in the backyard or in the unfinished basement and bring out all the dishes and food for supper. Sure, we had Hurricane Hazel hit us in fall 1954 (and that is dating me) but that was it for extra-ordinary (that I can remember). None of these extremes in weather we experience now and certainly not what is now a given – basement flooding at some point or points in time.

And I’m going to go out on a limb here (figuratively speaking, for now anyway), and say I’m not sure it is all human-caused global warming. I’m not religious, but I think there might be something in the “ranting” and “predictions” of some religious groups. The world didn’t end in October 2012, but when you see/read about all the crazy weather, you start to wonder. To paraphrase a line from a commercial “it’s not nice to offend Mother Nature” – however, Mother Nature is a figment of someone’s imagination. I’ve touched on this in a previous post. The very word “Mother” does not bring up visions of constantly living on the edge of a bad weather precipice.

So what is one to do? I’m going to try to get out in the garden as much as I can…and enjoy the relative peace – that is when I’m not anchoring down garbage bins, chairs and potted plants.


Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

Only Child' front garden - later in summer.

Only Child’s front garden – later in summer.


Filed under 1950s, Extreme Weather, Floods, Gardening, Mom and Dad, Only child, Rain and wind storm, Sharon A. Crawford, Sign of the Times, Snow, Toronto, Weather

4 responses to “Only Child on gardening and weather

  1. Sharon A: Taught science for 40 years. At the beginning, most concerns involved how long our supply of fossil fuels would last. Then the pollution, of which I’m probably a victim, since I was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis two years ago. Anyway, towards the end of my teaching career new students would ask: “Do you believe in Global Warming?” My response was always “Either the average temperatures are increasing worldwide or they’re not. What you are asking is a political question. Based totally on economic considerations.” Such as, are we humans responsible for climate change through our actions? And how much will it cost to fix it? Based on computer models, it’ll take at least 50 years to sort out who’s at “fault.” Much could be the result of natural causes. There have been major swings in climate throughout the history of Earth. If for no other reason, shouldn’t we at least busy ourselves cleaning up the environment so that future generations of our self-centered kind inherit a safe haven? Plus, I always added, if all of us disappeared tomorrow, the planet would recover nicely. Yours truly, Toe.

    • Hi Toe;
      Thanks for your thoughtful comments. The nasties in the environment certainly factor into people’s illnesses – my friend next door has to stay inside with the AC on in very humid summer days, although her asthma is much much better than when she was pregnant and had to tote around a portable oxygen machine. I did some reading on your condition and hope it is mild and you are not having a lot of trouble breathing.

      The weather extremities also bring up ethical and moral issues. And your comments have given me ideas for a couple of future posts.


      Sharon A.

      • Sharon A: Look forward to your future posts and intend to throw in my two bits worth in response. I also had students who wanted to know if I believed in God. “Of course!” I said. “The Bible is not a science text, it simply explains our spiritual relationship with God.” The discovery of certain scientific principles enhances our understanding of His universe. After all, we need to remind ourselves that God works in mysterious ways. But he gave us a sense of curiosity through which we are slowly able to figure out part of His grand scheme. Notice I said part. I have other notions about God’s day to day involvement re the physical world. Thank you for your concerns about my IPF. Based on everything I’ve been told by my doctor, once diagnosed an individual has two-five years survival. Yes, I have portable oxygen tanks and a concentrator. But I “cheat” in that I do not use them full time. Not the experts recommendation, but I have been holding my own over the last year. I do run out of breath easily, and my energy level is low. However, whenever I see stories of young children struggling with disease through no fault of their own, I feel sorry for them. I have never felt sorry for myself. So, thanks in part to my wife Brenda, I’m doing just fine. Yours truly, Toe.

  2. I too feel sorry for young kids struggling with diseases especially if the disease kills them. Something wrong here, As many people have said, parents shouldn’t outlive their children.

    Glad you are managing your disease okay and you are lucky to have support from your wife Brenda.


    Sharon A.

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