Archive for October 17th, 2008

Signs of the season in Ottawa

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Yesterday, the weather man mentioned that there was a chance that next Tuesday afternoon’s rain could turn to snow in the evening. I congratulated myself for having booked an appointment to have the winter tires put on just that morning. When we had them put on last year, we explained to Reid that our car needed the snow tires just like she needed snow boots. Reid has extrapolated this to mean that we need to stop eating cereal with milk and eat oatmeal exclusively. Never mind that she has been eating oatmeal most every day since Ken left and every school day since the start of her second week. (Confession: Reid brushes her teeth before we leave the house and then eats her cereal in the car. I have no shame.) I could have some trouble conforming to this dictate since I like my oatmeal piping hot and that is difficult to achieve in the rush of getting out the door. Mushy bran flakes that have absorbed all of the milk are somehow less objectionable.

I haven’t found a pair of snow boots for Reid yet, haven’t even looked. I think I might be in denial. Despite an awareness of the fact that snow in Ottawa rarely waits for winter – or November – to put in its first appearance, some part of my mind has decided that it won’t happen until Ken is here to shovel it. It’s sad when people who know better take – or delaying taking – actions and create situation that they know will only end badly.

As for snow tires, the Quebec government has made them mandatory, starting this winter. Faced with this guaranteed surge in demand, Wal-Mart closed the only part of its operation to unionize and have a contract established, saying that they would have had to raise prices too much to pay the employees – all of $10 or $11 an hour instead of $8. I’m not sure that I would want to trust something as important as my tires to people paid that little and treated that poorly. (I’m holding back on including the words to *Solidarity forever* but only just.)

Hear Pete Seeger’s version:

Two weeks ago we went for one last trip to the beach, last week we went crunching through the leaves and this week I’m hearing predictions of snow. Yes, those are signs of the fall season in Ottawa.