Thursday, April 04, 2013

Wait Five Minutes

A common Newfoundland phrase is:

"If you don't like the weather wait five minutes."

I've known it to be true.

But there's such a thing as 'shrug true' and 'gobsmackingly true'.

Like today. I was in St. John's for the day and I usually plan my time there, not OCD-ish or anything, but I have a rough idea when I'm having dinner with or without friends, time allocated for the weekly grocery shop, and I allow for a good long walk with Ansa. Today I chose the university campus. We like this walk as many far-from-home students rush over and go ballistic over Ansa. She laps up the attention for a while and then gets bored with the fans and heads for the pee-mail all around her.

It was a stunning day. St. John's gets Denim Days too. Not a cloud in the sky so I debated the vest and the gloves and decided to take them but shook my head at the cap and the coat. I mean I would look seriously ridiculous on such a balmy day.

We were about 20 minutes out on the walk at a goodly pace when snow begins to make itself felt. I smiled, thinking it a fleeting weather aberration. I looked up at the darkening sky as the wind picked up. Sweet maria on a pogo stick, I kid you not, the heavens opened up, the wind roared and we now had a full blown blizzard on our hands. Blizzard. One of those horizontal ones. The ice got into places on my body that had never been exposed to the light of day. Or night. Ever. I had no cell phone and no money on me. Head down, I aimed for the car in these arctic conditions. I was covered in snow and ice, soaked and chilled to the bone. Ansa is part husky so there were many potential romps this spoilsport had to drag her away from along the way. Snow! Bounce! Joy!

I finally, finally struggled into the car and blasted the heat. And then, you know what happened next? You do. The dark oppressive clouds raced away out over the ocean and the sun split the rocks yet again, dazzling me so much I had to put on the shades. And all that snow melted. In rivers running everywhere.

I was meeting some friends at 7 and I was a sorry sight, jeans dripping, my sleeves had to be literally rung out. And they all laughed. Not at the news of the blizzard, but that I hadn't prepared for all eventualities of weather as I set out. As they do. Like true Newfoundlanders.

I will be telling this weather story for years.


  1. Oh, I guess you should have known better. Always be prepared, like a true Newfoundlander, and wear layers of clothing, right? I hope you don't get caught off guard again, although it sounds like it was an adventure to Ansa. And a tale to tell for you by the fireside. xox

  2. Weather is the universal balm that soothes conversation.
    Here in New Jersey (we say), "If you want the weather to change, just weait five minutes."
    That's no foolin.' Now I'll rein myself in.

  3. That weather saying holds true up here on the Georgian Bay also mainly in the winter.

  4. This reminds me of the maxim here during monsoons. If you forget to take the umbrella, it will rain and if you do remember to take it, it will not.

  5. I'm surprised at you. Sure and isn't it just the same in Ireland? Biting wind one minute, scorching sun the next. You should be well used to such changeable conditions....

  6. "Sweet maria on a pogo stick" as you said above, did you learn nuttin when you were growing up in Ireland? Never trust the weather, it is a law unto itself!

  7. @Irene:
    Nothing quite as dramatic has ever happened to me weatherwise before. Oh sorry I forgot the hypothermia when I was in a long road race and freezing drizzle poured down on us...:)

    I'll "rain" myself in now.

    I believe you, it can get rough up there.

    That was the rule in Ireland too!!

    Unless you're now getting unexpected horizontal blizzards now, I sure remember the wind, fog and endless rain!

    Ah come on now, unforecasted blizzards pounding in from the ocean and then fading innocently away as if nothing happened? All in the space of an hour?


  8. The use the same expression here. And I still don't go out prepared. But at least our sudden rians are more likely to be warmish.

  9. WWW, yes, the wonders of nature. What a great story. So well told I was right there with you, fighting with the elements, cursing my luck. The final straw how the heavens mocked you the moment you returned to the relative safety of your car. I fully expected - just to top it all - your car refusing to start.

    "Sweet Maria on a pogo stick" indeed. Thank you for adding this beauty to my considerable stock of expressions I employ in moments of need and exasperation.


  10. SAW:
    Aye there's the rub, warmish rains when here it would freeze know the rest.

    Thank you and glad to enhance your vocab!



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