We're already well into winter. I like it when it snows. It gives the city a different feel, a different sound. When the wind is down and the sky is filled with fluffy snowflakes, everything is quieter. It's relaxing.
Daylight is getting longer, but there are still a few weeks of cold temperature ahead of us. Every time we hit those minus 20s, I think of the first settlers who got here in the 16th century and probably started wondering as early as December when this cold season would be over. I also have a thought for immigrants experiencing their first winter. Watching Haitians getting off the plane on the runway with military blankets and sandals as their only footwear is an enduring image. It's no wonder some can't deal with our climate and simply move to warmer parts of the country.
This winter's been generally mild, but we've had some cold nights. A few weeks back, I was rushing outside the sport complex to get back home for the kids to get a decent night sleep when I bumped into a lady with jumper cables in her hands. "Do you know how to do this?" she asked. "Well... uh... yes." I mumbled begrudgingly. She stood there, looking at me as if she hadn't noticed my lack of enthusiasm. I watched over her shoulder and saw her car with its door open. I went on... "you simply need to clip the two positive poles together and do the same with the negative poles." "Can you do it?..." she asked. "I'm afraid of this stuff." Ok... let's do this quickly, I thought.
While a second lady approached her mini-van, she unlocked the hood of her Volvo. I tried to pop it open, but couldn't find the latch. She called her husband; the latch was in the radiator grill. We found it and opened the hood. I looked at the battery; all I could see was gunk, no plus and minus signs. I asked the second lady to unlock her hood. Now, she's the one getting instructions over the phone. "My husband says you got to clip to the frame for the ground."
This was getting a bit more complicated than I expected... I was standing with a jumper cable clip in each hand, looking at the lady in distress, trying to reconcile advices from people who weren't even there. Both my kids were running around with impatience and I wasn't sure which one of the plus or the minus is the ground... help!
Salman is a sporting fellow; he's from Northern Africa. He saw me, as he got out of the sport center, started running and yelled "I've got a boosting unit in my car... it's the safest way to do this... hold on!" In the meantime, Abdul, with whom I also do sports, walked up to me, grabbed the cables, connected the whole thing and asked the lady to start the car. When Salman returned with his boosting unit, everything was settled. Yep... I was all set to go home and put the kids to sleep.
New-stock Québécois beats Pure Laine 2-0.