by Rhoda White
I guess you could say “the way it was” when I was a child growing up in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley years ago, or maybe refer to it as the “olden days”. Either way, things have changed over the years, especially the weather and climate. The four seasons were very predictable and were what you would expect them to be
Spring was such a lovely time of the year, very warm, the time for burning the old grass and getting ready for the new, green, the sounds of children playing outside, dogs barking, frogs singing and a full moon.
Then summer arrived; no need to go south, everything you would want is near by, such as beaches, lighthouses, beautiful scenery, parks, fairs, outdoor concerts, picnic, etc. and wonderful weather.
Then came fall with its beautiful array of color, falling leaves, a perfect temperature for wearing light clothing, a time for hiking through the woods or a fishing trip on the lake.
Then winter arrived. In my day as a child, when winter arrived it stayed winter until the season was over, we had some wild ones also that I can remember.
Our family lived in a house flanked by railways tracks on each side of us. One was the DAR (Dominion Atlantic Railway,) the other was the CNR (Canadian National Railway.) I can recall winters that the snow was up to the lines on the poles along the tracks. One time the train that went to Bridgetown from Liverpool N.S. got stuck in the snow and another engine with a snow plough on front had to come to the rescue. Another time, I remember that it snowed so much that the Brooklyn Road was closed and the only way through was by snowshoe, skis, or regular walking or by sled on top of the snow.
As children we always found fun things to do in the wintertime outdoors. There were always ponds, swamps that froze over for skating and always hills for coasting or just a snowball fight.
Summer found us swimming in a brook or a large stream, whatever came first. There were children everywhere having fun. Today it is rarely that you see children playing outside the home and you wonder “where have all the children gone?”
The changing of the weather and climate makes one ask, is this a good or bad sign of something more serious to expect in the future?
I really liked it when we knew and could feel when spring arrived, also summer, fall and winter and knew mostly what to expect weather-wise.
We sometimes feel fortunate to live in Nova Scotia, especially the Annapolis Valley, where usually we get the tail end of a major storm or it just passes us by.
I often recall the storm “Hurricane Juan” on Monday, September 29, 2003 that hit Halifax and area. People in the Valley were completely unaware and shocked when we heard about it and the damage that was done. It was so surprising that we did not experience anything unusual such as rain, wind, power outages, etc. from such a storm so close by.
The weather at this point in time seems so very much more unpredictable than it used to be. Most of us are aware and believe it is due to global warming,
As children, we had to walk to school maybe about a mile. Our dad worked at the Canadian Canners factory, in the boiler room, which is situated over on the North End of Victoria Street and is closed now. We had to pass it on our way to school. Sometimes our hands and feet would get so cold and we would stop by the boiler room to warm our hands and feet before continuing on our way.
When I look back on those times, I really don’t regret any of it. I also was, fortunate to know about and experience traveling on a train. Something my grandchildren may not experience here in the valley or ever.
It is very scary when you hear that a month’s rain fell in a few days or less. The climate is changing faster maybe than we realize.
The summers I remember we usually had a few thunder and lightening storms, nothing too serious though. They seem to be very rare now in our area.
Times have changed and continue to do so. As for the climate change, it is something to think about seriously; how bad will it get, what drastic changes will take place, will the storms get worse, will there be floods? Hopefully, it will be nothing that we can’t handle.