Tag Archives: extreme weather conditions

Only Child mulls over fall and winter weather forecasts

Only Child's front garden -  the way it should be with the beautiful juniper in front

Only Child’s front garden – the way it should be with the beautiful juniper (before winter damage) in front

Summer, such as it is, still continues but the hype for fall and winter weather is on. Do we believe it or hope for something better?

The bible of weather reporting, The Weather Network, announced its forecast for the upcoming fall and winter seasons. See http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/2014-fall-outlook-and-winter-preview-greater-toronto-area/35515/ They hedge around whether the weather will be another unusually cold one this winter basing it on if El Nino hits North America or not.

Another source, Accuweather, is predicting much the same with a worse forecast of a cold fall and snow in November. See http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/08/20/canada-fall-weather-forecast_n_5696285.html

Just what we need after last winter’s ice storm, polar vortex and all that nonsense. I’m still waiting for the powers that be (you know who that is) fixes the damage from last winter in my garden. My big juniper tree in front is coming back too slowly and I think after all the cold, ice, etc. of last winter I deserve to have that tree make at least an 80 per cent comeback – preferably before winter sets in.

And I’m not looking forward to another cold, icy, snowy winter. I’m not looking forward to winter at all. I loathe winter with a passion just as much as I love spring, summer and early fall (before the cold hits) with a passion. Although I try to go for a daily walk year-round, I don’t ski, skate anymore, snowshoe or do any other winter sports, and HATE the cold, snow, ice etc. The only thing about winter that I do like are the fashions, but I don’t like bundling up.

Going into my garden is a mixed pleasure and I do a lot of that, savouring its goodness – the flowers, tomatoes, carrots, onions and herbs. Even mowing the lawn with my push mower is pure joy. It is that time of the year when I wish it were July 1 again and we could do it all over.

Instead I’ll just spend a lot of time in my garden.

And shake my fist up at the sky with a “don’t you dare” warning.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Extreme Weather, Garden Destruction, Gardening, God, Only child, Weather forecasts fall and winter 2014, Winter Weather

Only Child on flooding and other extreme weather

Only Child  contemplates the weather and its ramifications

Only Child contemplates the weather and its ramifications

You know what the late great John Lennon wrote and sang about the rains coming and people running and hiding. It sure applies to all the rain and flooding we have been getting this year and it doesn’t matter where you live in the world- rain and flooding are the new norm. Even parts of southern California got flooded out this past weekend. In southern Ontario, Canada, the city of Burlington got flooded badly. The city’s mayor was interviewed this morning on The Weather Network and flooding and he said his house got about five feet of rain and some of it got into his main floor. For videos on this flooding mess and interview with the mayor go to

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/flash-flooding-sweeps-burlington-more-storm-chance-tuesday/33328

 

There is nowhere to run and hide

 

Why is this happening now? There are many theories and I’ve mentioned this briefly before. I am convinced that whichever religious group predicted the big flood to end the world in October 2012 have something right – they just got the date wrong. But it is coming…soon.

I was discussing this recently with a friend who is a born again Christian/Catholic, so you can guess how she went on about it.

Actually, we are in agreement about a lot of things with this flood business. We agree the end of the world is coming soon, just not all the details. She talked about The Rapture and how the good people will be swept up in it and into heaven.

I don’t think there will be any Rapture. Why? Because the floods, hurricanes, etc. are too widespread and hurting (sometimes killing) good as well as bad people. At this rate, there may not be many or any “good” people left.

And just what constitutes a “good person” these days (from God’s point of view)?

Whats behind all this? It is my opinion (and this is just me) that either all these extreme weather conditions are caused by God or at least he has a hand in them (and global warning has something to do with it) OR as a few of my church-going friends say when I blame God for something – “God is too busy with other things to be bothered with our concerns.”

They may be right. I mean if we are praying to be spared from so many of these extreme weather conditions and that doesn’t happen, then God is busy with other things. Maybe these “other things” are his agenda. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – God gave us all free will. What if he doesn’t like what we are doing with that free will and he is acting accordingly?

I’m just saying. And as posted before, there is no such person as Mother Nature. Every time I hear that euphemism I cringe.

That’s my opinion, anyway.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

 

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Filed under Burlington flooding, End of world, Extreme Weather, Floods, God, Rain, The Rapture

Only Child focuses beyond the four-letter words

Only Child  rests before doing more battle with companies screwing the consumer

Only Child contemplates then and now

Last week I posted dark. Maybe because a lot of what I’ve been experiencing lately is what is described as “going to hell in a hand basket, ” although the basket keeps increasing in size that it is now too big even for the Jolly Green Giant. My postings, my feelings, are a micro reflection of what is going on in the world today – from terrorism to wars to the weather. I’ve posted about that before, too.

Back in the “good old days” when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s life was simpler but not perfect. In the macro realm, most women stayed home with the kids and didn’t work; there was a lot of racism, and the extreme weather conditions were flukes not every-day occurrences. The only extreme weather I lived through was Hurricane Hazel. Our house didn’t experience any flooding. My late Mom said it was because we lived on a hill.

We also didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, and other social media that get abused today (think cyber bullying) and no Internet. The latter, along with email would have been useful. Instead we had landlines (rotary dialing which I couldn’t do now if you paid me), and transportation – we actually had trains going into rural areas carrying people not oil tanks that exploded.

But I’m a railway brat. My late Dad worked for the CNR so Mom, Dad and I got free train rides, a bonus for our holiday travel.

Behind all these good things in the past, there was underlying darkness. I was bullied but it was the in-your-face type of bullying and despite my intense shyness (thanks to being an only child of elderly parents), I did fight back, often more like a clown. In my memoir which I am currently rewriting, I write:

Mom’s uses subtler tactics. How else to explain our silent collusion when one day the Bully and I get into it with words?

I don’t remember the issue, but we’re standing outside on my front veranda. The Bully is letting me have it; I am burning hotter and hotter inside. Mom must hear us because when I run inside to get a knife, she hands me a ruler. The Bully knows she’s in trouble and she runs down the steps. Brandishing the ruler like I’m Zorro without the mask, I tear after her down the stairs, down the street, and around the corner. I’m steaming with how good it will feel to whack her one across the back and head, but she is too far ahead of me. Unlike Zorro, I have no horse, only my short eight-year old legs. I go right up to the side door of her house after she dashes inside. I yell and shake my ruler. I wish I had the nerve to run into her house and finish the job, but what will her mother think and do?

Maybe Mom is trying to protect me by teaching me to stand up for myself. (excerpted  from You Can Go Home, Copyright 2014 Sharon A. Crawford)

And maybe that has something to do with why I became a journalist.

The biggest darkness of my childhood was when my Dad got cancer. I was almost 10 when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. It spread to his brain. Six and a half years later he was dead. Compounding living with this was living with betrayal – I found out Mom had lied about the lung cancer – Mom said Dad had TB. The Bully told me the truth.

So, life is never 100 per cent rosy or 100 per cent crappy.

But the balance of rosiness to crappiness has changed drastically since we entered the new millennium. Something is off there and hence the big big (and growing “basket) taking us to hell or whatever you envision as hell.

Shouldn’t the good be more than the bad? Or am I relying on life “back then” instead of  “life now?”

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under 1950s, 1960s, Family and Friends, Life demands, Mom and Dad, Only child, Only child memoir, Railways, Sharon A. Crawford, Train travel, Uncategorized, Weather

Only Child says road construction sign of life’s discord

Only Child’s front garden – headed for some destruction?

Last weekend I did a lot of walking in downtown Toronto and was appalled at all the road construction. Supposedly it is to improve Toronto’s streets and sites. But as I slogged through the heat along Front Street West and down York Street I couldn’t help wonder if underneath it all there is a more serious sign. If you throw in the extreme weather conditions worldwide – more severe thunderstorms with flooding, tornadoes, forest fires, and the worst drought since the Depression in the mid-1930s, you have to wonder. No, folks, I’m not talking the end of the world, although some people believe that will happen later this year. I mean the extensive invasive construction and extreme weathers conditions  just might be signs of the clutter, overwhelm, and disharmony in people’s lives throughout the world.

It didn’t used to be so much construction at once, although I remember as a five-year old, poking my head out the front door and seeing the whole street dug up for pipe replacement.

Now, Union Station – Toronto’s railway hub – is going through a big renovation. From the diagrams displayed inside the station’s big hall, the future looks great. But the process is taking a long time and producing a spill-out of more construction nightmares. The actual entries to Union Station and maneuvering around inside appear tolerable. Front Street outside is something else as the islands of gardens in the middle of the street were removed last year and this summer more of Front Street is one big long hole while sewers, etc. get updated. In June, the construction and the extreme weather created a flood inside Union Station and the subway platform below.

This weekend, yet another street where streetcars run, entered the construction act – to upgrade the tracks and prepare the area for a partial pedestrian walkway for Toronto’s Harbourfront. These streetcars (as well as those on Spadina Avenue) use a dedicated track line. The buses don’t. So, we have people, cars and buses (when they come) jamming streets and sidewalks. I gave up on waiting for the bus transfer from the subway (up the stairs, around the corner and down the street) for the walk to Harbourfront. Along with many others, I trudged through heat over to York Street and then some shade under the Gardner Expressway (which has had chunks of cement falling down in various places) and finally to Harbourfront. I was trying to make it in time for the classical music concert in the Harbourfront Music Garden. So I walked in the heat and humidity over to the west end of Harbourfront. As I arrived (late) and started through the gardens I could hear the “music.”

Somebody was insulting an accordion, hitting random chords of discord. I decided to skip the concert and wandered through the gardens. Here, beauty appeared and I found areas of the garden I hadn’t known existed. Truly this is an oasis of calm (except for the occasional sound from the concert popping through). When I walked back to Harbourfront Centre proper as I passed by the main outdoor concert stage, my ears were hit with more discord in sound. Another sign of the discord everyone seems to be experiencing in their lives?

And if I think sitting out in my garden will help, I have to think again – at least for the front garden. In my walk along the downtown streets Sunday and in my walks in nearby neighbourhoods the past month, I’ve seen the big gas pipe movement – replacement of old pipes for presumably newer and better ones. And if they have to, they go on your property and dig, although for the lucky ones, it stays on the sidewalk, roads, and maybe the driveway.

Not for me. I have gas lines under part of my front garden (once a front lawn). Why would gas lines (except the one connecting to the house service at the gas metre) be under a lawn? Who was at fault – the house builder/developer or the gas company back in the day when the area was developed? Somebody screwed up. And I’m terrified they will be coming to get my front garden – if not this year, then next. I’m having nightmares and daymares.

I need to find out more and make a plan.

Does anyone else find the extremes in weather, and such occurrences as too much radical construction, etc. a sign that our lives are really out of whack and we (I use the royal “we” here) need to make some changes before it is too late?

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Clutter, Extreme Weather, Garden Destruction, Home and Garden, Music, Only child, Road Construction, Sharon A. Crawford, Sign of the Times, Union Station Toronto, Walking