Sunday, January 18, 2009

January in Lockeport

Some thoughts on the winter here in Lockeport and area.


We got back to Lockeport on January 2nd on the heels of a blizzard. The driving wasn't too bad and when we got home, we found a snow plow pile across the end of our driveway but the actual driveway was blown bare. There were very strange drifts around the yard, along the edge of the concrete step at the back door (but nothing at the door itself) and some interesting drifts behind the house. About half of the yard was bare due to our lovely winds at the top of the hill. Within a few days, almost all of what was here had melted. Then it snowed again, melted.

This week it has been very cold - as low as -25C with the wind chill some nights but only a very few flurries here and there. The locals say it is unusually cold. I hope they are right :). Today it is headed back up above zero and we should get rain overnight. The wind makes the dampness feel colder than it is, but only a few times have I felt as cold as I am used to getting in Ottawa - and I rarely have had to wear boots here.

Our wood stove (Pacific Energy Spectrum Classic) has worked completely as advertised - it can be loaded in the evening and burns overnight keeping the rear of the house nice and toasty.

The roads (paved) are cleared quite quickly it seems, salt or sand comes a little later - I guess so they don't have to salt twice for the same storm. There is a lot of ice around, particularly on the gravel roads - enough so that there are many days when the school buses just don't go down them. That is another interesting phenomenon for someone from a big city - parts of bus routes can be cancelled, and, if all buses are cancelled they actually CLOSE THE SCHOOLS TOO - realizing that if students can't get there safely, neither can staff. Ontario take note.

Closures and cancellations are done well in advance via the radio when a storm is scheduled, since most people have to travel quite a distance to bingo, suppers, or whatever.

The ice is also prevalent on sidewalks, driveways etc. with the temperature oscillating around zero so much. Lots of falls and broken bones among seniors. Accidents on roads necessitate very long detours - you can't just go around the block to avoid a road closure. The 2 I've encountered so far have each necessitated detours of 40+ km, and it is easy to see that an accident on the section of the #103 between Sable River and Liverpool could result in no possible detour short of several hundred kilometres.


Almost none. Well, some of the standard things go on - hooking on Tuesday in Shelburne, the Wednesday craft group at the Beach Centre, Wayne's Sunday evening hockey game in Barrington. I joined an exercise class in Sable River which meets Monday and Friday mornings, but I've only made it once so far due to weather or being ill. Not much else.

Most restaurants are closed - this week the Town & Country closed for the rest of the winter so now only the Parrot's Pins remains open (Tues - Sun). At least it has always had the best food in town. In Shelburne, Charlotte Lane and The Sea Dog are closed. Lothar's is open briefly then closing again for February for a vacation. The Chef's Table in Sable River is closed. The Quarterdeck in Hunt's Point is closed.

Yesterday, we went to the Sandy Point monthly breakfast - an escape from cabin fever. Wayne went to an AGM of the United Church in the afternoon and listened to the congregation (9 people were there) planning for next winter, making sure all activities were in the morning/afternoon so no one had to go out in the evening. Our little diet/exercise group at the Lockeport rec centre seems to have died - no one except the 2 of us has showed up the last 2 weeks. So Wayne has promised to continue teaching me the basics of Tai Chi at home on Tuesdays.

There will be one performance at the Osprey in each of January and February - January's is a classical guitar trio on a Sunday evening when Wayne is playing hockey so, unless I go by myself, that will not happen.

Next Saturday, there is a 5 hour meeting at the Rec Centre as part of the NS government's sustainability initiative - all communities are being required to establish plans for sustaining their economies, social structure and environment in the future. Coordinators have been hired by each municipality to guide the process and prepare the necessary reports. It will be interesting to see what matters to the local population, I'm glad we have been asked to participate and provide some input.

We are seriously thinking of taking a few months in Florida next winter.