Monday, 19 March 2012

First Day of Spring!

Rachel and Gillian out walking
It's March 20...the First Day of Spring.  It's a good day for  me.

Winter, Winter, Go Away...Bring on the First Day of Spring!

I don't live *so* north in Canada that winter presents massively undue hardship. I lived in Saskatchewan when I was a kid, and I have vivid memories of snow on my birthday in September...a Halloween where it was -35 degrees Celsius with the windchill...and the stories that we were told in school of the little girl who took her mittens off, even though it was sunny, and had her hands freeze off.

It really didn't get that cold here this year (although it has in the past) and there wasn't even a whole lot of snow until after Christmas. I don't mind being cold. I can deal with being cold. I can even deal with snow, to a point. It's when the snow becomes packed on the sidewalks, and freezing
rain starts to cover it with ice...or when there's a brief thaw, and then everything freezes up again...that winter starts to hamper my movements. Not only is it slow-going over the ice, I can never tell how far down my cane is going to go into snow when I'm trying to use it support myself.

And while some businesses are very good about keeping their steps and ramps cleared of snow and ice...some aren't. But that's another post, for another day.

My sister and her husband were up here recently from their home in Southern Ontario (which got almost no snow this year). They went for a walk around the hilly area in which my father lives, with Baby Gillian. When they returned, my sister said, "There's so much snow and ice on the roads! How do you walk around here?"

"I don't, really," I said, thinking about how much money I'd spent on taxis that winter.

Yay Spring!

So, I'm happy to have gotten through the winter through to the First Day of Spring, as I'm sure are many people in my community who use wheelchairs or mobility aids, or who just have balance issues and live in fear during the winter of falling on the ice. Right now we're enjoying wonderful weather. The snow is gone from the roads and sidewalks. It's prime walking weather. We can probably expect a couple of more snowfalls, and maybe another cold snap, but the ground isn't frozen anymore, so it won't stay.

The worst is over! Bring on Spring! Happy First Day of Spring!


  1. Hi Sarah, back when I lived in Minnesota I can remember how difficult things became if there was a thaw and refreeze or worse yet if it got warm enough to have some freezing rain fall over the snow!  I was a snow catcher with the shovel - always racing out and clearing the sidewalks... I hated it when someone would walk on the dusting of snow and cause icey boot prints that I couldn't shovel off!!!  I also remember how difficult it was to walk across those iced up paths...  I think now that I am balance and mobility challenged it would be frightening...  I'm glad your spring is coming (now that I am in the tropics I am glad our winter is coming too!)

    On a different note I am about to write a paper for my conflict analysis university course and, thanks to you, I am going to focus on the New York cab access dispute... it is in abeyance at the moment so it might be a good time to propose some conflict intervention ideas.

    cheers and happy spring time!

  2. If you're looking for information on the New York cab dispute, there's a group called Taxis for All that has been involved with it since 1996. Their site is at, and they've got a huge amount of information about what's been going on with that particular issue since the year 199

    I'd love to read your paper when it's done!