I am getting very nervous about this coming winter season. There was a time in these parts when every season had instantly recognizable characteristics. Summer was hot, fall was not, and spring was rainy. I am aware that winter did not make the short list and there is a reason for that.
There was a time in this country when we knew exactly what to expect of winter; it was cold with lots of snow. Thanks to our mothers, when we left the house in the morning, we were prepared for the worst – warm woolen mittens, thick scarves knitted by good old Mom, long johns, and sturdy boots and jackets all of them designed to keep old man Winter at bay. But that was then, and this is now, and to tell the truth, I don’t really care about this version of now. Back in the days of my youth winters were truly cold, we all wore about 20 pounds of cold weather clothing and one’s nose didn’t fully thaw until the middle of May.
If I am making it sound like the season was just something to be suffered through please don’t get that impression because it was a wonderful time for a kid. There was no shortage of ice to skate on. and lots of snow to build forts on and make snowballs with. Which, of course, were used to pelt friend and foe alike until it began to get dark. At which point you raced home before Mom had to go looking for you, and you really didn’t want that to happen.
Unfortunately those days didn’t last forever, and before I knew what happened it was time to buy a new suit and a second-hand car and get a job. About those second-hand cars, you could always be sure of two things. One, that the salesman was lying when he said the car you purchased had only 10,000 original miles on it and second, the machine would suffer a breakdown six weeks after you proudly drove it off the lot. There were many life lessons to be learned when trying to cope with used car dealers but unfortunately with the passage of time I have forgotten most of them.
But, getting back to the snowball fights I mentioned earlier, I believe there are lessons to be learned from those long-ago battles. For one thing, they were battles with no casualties, and there is a simple explanation for that. For some reason, whether by accident or design, the opposing forts were always built about five yards beyond the range of even the strongest-armed among us so even though the air was filled with blood-curdling cries there were never any casualties because nobody ever got hit and that leads me to another thought.
As peace-loving Canadians, I believe we should promote the use of snowballs as the weapon of choice whenever countries start making belligerent noises towards one another. Apart from the occasional shiner or bruised noggin nobody ever gets hurt, but aside from the humanitarian aspect, but there is another avenue to explore, and that’s where Canada enters the picture.
Every winter thousands of acres of farmland lie dormant while farmers wait for spring and the arrival of the growing season. Why can’t they make snowballs from all that white stuff that just lies around all winter and ship them to Toronto where they would be carefully packed and redirected to countries that are cross with one another for whatever reason? This would be applauded by peace-loving countries everywhere, and especially Canada, which could charge a small fee to cover shipping and handling costs, plus a reasonable amount that would take care of minor items such as a markup designed to compensate them for any inconvenience.
As usual I am not charging a fee for this worthy suggestion.