Editorial – This glass is half-full

Jeff Burgar

I have my own idea when “winter is over.” It’s a personal thing. I want a good “summer” to last as long as possible. So basically, I try to fool myself sub-zero temperatures at night mean nothing. It’s the 5C days that say spring has arrived to me. And summer is right behind.

So, my personal idea that winter is done is when the Edmonton Sportsman Show happens in March.

Heck, there is still another three weeks of ice fishing left. No matter. Out on the ice with sunshine beating down, giving an angler the “raccoon eyes.” is definitely and obviously spring. So thus, the Sportsman Show calendar.

The show used to open the first week in March, around March 5 or so. A few years ago, due to some kind of scheduling conflict, the show was moved to a later date – one week later, to be exact.

The date shift didn’t make much difference. Heading there either weekend offers the same possibilities of weather. We’ve been wearing T-shirts on a sunny and warm Friday afternoon, walking across the parking lot and heading into the Show. And come out several hours later to find snow and -20C temperatures.

This year, we followed the COVID-19 news right up to Wednesday evening just before the show was to open Thursday. News was conflicting. American President Donald Trump closed his border to flights from China at the end of January. His political opponents said the closing was horribly “racist.”

They in fact, spent all of February right into mid-March encouraging crowds to gather and party hearty. It all didn’t work out very well for those trying to make political hay while people died.

But we foolishly thought news reports were mostly correct. It was all blown out of proportion by a nutbar president.

Even so, at the last minute Wednesday, we decided to take a pass on the show. The next day, about the same time we would have been arriving, it was announced the show, having just opened, was closing. And thus began an entire summer of closings, cancellations and postponements. Six months worth, in fact, it turned out.

Besides the COVID disaster, “summer” weather itself this year wasn’t much. It started cold. It rained too much. It stayed cold. It rained even more. Three days of sunshine followed by two days of rain. Week after week like that all the way until July. So this was piled on businesses closed and stores and shops and restaurants closed or drive-thru only.

We did finally get warm weather. Enough actually that summer was not a complete loss. There were good weekends even in the middle of all the rain. We didn’t get as much yard work as we wanted. Lots of people, including builders and farmers are, to use a really bad phrase in the rain, in the same boat.

When does summer end? I usually shoot for Halloween.

Which makes three seasons of spring, summer and fall last about eight months. If you are a “glass half-full” type of person, that means a fun winter can be all of four months. Count me “in.”

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