Warm weather has finally come – with mixed blessings. Where just a few weeks back we were hunkering down indoors for the ice storm, it is now in the mid 20’s (that’s the 70’s for folks in the US). But you don’t get that kind of change without some drama. Friday afternoon I looked out to the north and west and in the distance, coming quickly was a line of big, dark clouds. I rushed out to get my run in (I’m starting again – from nearly ground zero post-injury) and got narrowly missed it. Above me the weather was beautiful, sunny, and warm, but look at what’s just to the north!
I rushed through it to beat the rain and by the time I finished, it had gone from relatively calm to wind making gravel pelt my legs and having to lean in to the wind. By the time I got upstairs there was a bit of thunder and lightning and then came the wind. It whistled through the gaps of our nearly 50 year old windows and then came the real fun. The building started swaying. Now buildings this tall are supposed to do this. We didn’t take any video this time, but someone else in town at about the same height took some video in their apartment.
There’s nothing wrong with it and it doesn’t mean disaster. But when you’re 400 feet off the ground your animal brain has other expectations. I’m pretty OK with it though it made me a bit dizzy. I could see other people getting seasick. Sage, though, was very funny. She also, academically, knew everything was fine and tried sitting down at her desk to do work but every time the wind would gust and the building would sway she would find herself involuntarily walking to the door. Finally we decided to go out to the mall next door and do some errands.
When we got to the back door of the building there was a family huddled inside taking shelter from the wind. I don’t think they lived there as they weren’t going in or out but they remarked how windy it was. A few steps later when we got to the sidewalk we saw a man in his 60’s squatting and resting his hand on the ground to stabilize himself. I could see why – the wind was so strong I had to concentrate on not being blown in to traffic. It was so strong, in fact, that I could almost lean full-on in to it without falling over.
We had a bit of time so we stopped at the food court for a snack at Shahi Rasoi – an Indian restaurant that I usually go to for lunch just before grocery shopping so I don’t come home with more food than I can carry. This time, though, the woman behind the counter was surprised that we ordered something different – dahi puri. This is a variation of pani puri with little crispy deep-fried puffed balls (shaped like the larger puri bread). You break a little hole in the top, add some potatoes and/or chickpeas, some cumin water (if it’s pani puri) or yogurt if it’s dahi puri, and add chutneys, sev (crispy noodles), tamarind sauce, chili powder. It’s one of my favourite snacks and tastes amazing.
We headed over to the grocery store and picked up a few things we knew we needed. When we walked in the floor was covered in dried leaves and even bits of branches. It seems that whenever the door opened to the parking lot, a whole bunch of debris would blow in. It had been pushed out of the way but there was still more blowing in with each customer.
We took our time going through. We were in no rush. And still, when we finished our shopping we looked out the window and saw that the trees were still bent over. Time to find something else to do. Perhaps it was time for a drink.
We headed over to the bubble tea stall but sadly we were not the only ones with the idea of getting out of the weather. Instead we headed to Tim Hortons for a coffee and took our time drinking it. While we were there we looked at the weather. The wind warning was going to be in effect until 10:40 PM (it was only 6!). Sage decided she couldn’t stay home and made plans to go see a show. I, on the other hand, decided to stay home. Still, she needed to come home to get her glasses and so we went back inside. The wind had died down a bit and left a few branches and lots of debris in its wake. But more noticeable was the fact that the temperature had taken a nose dive. It was now cold again.
Sage left and Daegan arrived not long afterward. He said his trip home was surreal – much of it through parts of town without power so there were no homes lit, no streetlights. By the time Sage got home a few hours later they were still without power. While we never lost power at home, they’re still restoring power to many people. And the cleanup of everything from fallen wires, to signs, to parts of roofs torn off will take even longer.
I guess we need to be careful how hard we wish for a change in the weather and how quickly we expect it.