October 26, 2016
Summer work usually gets done between time off with a cool glass of lemonade and the beginning of autumn – sometime before the first snow whitens the sod. Then comes the fall work: harvesting the gardens, cleaning the flower beds, raking leaves, all of which should be completed before real winter descends on the country. It works that way if everything works that way. Which happens sometime but not every time. This year is one of those not every time years of which I have memory of three in my 304 seasons. So the odds of a typical season are pretty good.
I was counting on a typical autumn to harvest the garden and rake the leaves and get in the last of the firewood. Our typical autumn occurred last year. This year we got the atypical.
Attending the UBCM convention, this year in Victoria, provided much-needed opportunity to meet with the folks who are temporarily holding the power and the purse in our jurisdiction. Certainly worthwhile activity in the life I live but it cut drastically into the fall work. Trusting the good graces and timing of Mother Nature, the potatoes, carrots, kale, and tomatoes (green-house variety) were still to be harvested. Not to worry. Winter is yet seven weeks and three days in the future.
But the forecasts become disquieting. Heavy snowfall warning for the first of October. Hey, that’s when we are supposed to be homeward bound. And still shod with summer rubber. Inauspicious!
Happily, the Pine Pass is cleared by the time we pass through but we are just a little certain that at our garden the potatoes, carrots, and the rest of the unharvested will be under the blanket. We were disappointed; we were right.
Ah, well. There’s no bylaw against digging the garden from under six inches (15 cm.) of snow. No big deal. It just doesn’t feel right. It feels decidedly wrong! Didn’t have to harvest the kale. Deer got it first – right down to the roots. Deer also pulled a bunch of carrots leaving only about 100 pounds for the rightful owners. Potatoes were quite OK and they’re now in the cold room. Harvesting’s done but not in the usual well-organized manner of well-organized country folk.
It seems like that first dump of white has transposed into genuine winter and the rest of the fall work is deferred to spring in about six months. That’s life in these climes this year.
Now to the work of the District: the District outside crews also are caught in the unseasonable circumstances of having to do fall work in winter. We ask your kind indulgence if there are delays, postponements, or other changes to the normal. As always, the crews will do their best to ensure that your comfort and safety are secure.
As always, the crews will do their best to ensure that Chetwynd is and remains that highly liveable community that you have come to enjoy and call home.
And speaking of calling home, if you happen to be one of those who took an early winter vacation in the sand and salt, do call home. Someone here will be happy to take a few minutes from scraping snow to wish you well.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor