Cross Town with Carl Dow


Cross Town with Carl Dow

Isolated in central Ottawa, Canada's capital

15 February 2013 — When late season Hurricane Sandy promised to do its worst in October I braced myself as one who would have a front seat on the blow. I was delighted with anticipation.
Here I am in my brand new digs overlooking a busy street and the even busier Queensway just up a short bank.
Safe and secure in my front-row seat I could watch Sandy do her (or was she a he?) worst.
By long habit I'm a night worker, usually going to sleep about 0500 or, as the time of the rising sun falls as the season changes, at the first hint of rose on the eastern horizon. I hate sunrises but love sunsets.
Now, this night, with Sandy rushing in, I could work safely behind my large picture windows and enjoy the thrill that Sandy promised.
Well Sandy was promise unfulfilled, for me at least. While the hurrricane wrecked 16,000 cars in the northeastern United States, ravaged southwestern Ontario, and killed one woman (a falling sign) in Toronto, it was as if Ottawa was in the eye.
Not one drop of water. Only an occasional puff that made secure street signs shudder. You can imagine my bitter disappointment when I slipped under the covers to escape the rising sun.
  Snow-storm? What snow-storm? (Photo by Geoffrey Dow.)

More recently, in conversation with my sister Vivian who lives on Vancouver Island, she registered empathy for the snow storm that, according to weather reports, had just passed through Ottawa.

I looked out the window and shrugged. Not much here. We've had some melts so there's not much to show. She was surprised.
So was I a couple of days later. I went beyond my core street and saw what mocked my shrug. High and wide snowbanks that narrowed four lane streets to two and two lane streets to one.
I then realized that I was living in isolation in the heart of the city. The street that runs under my windows is kept as clean as an airport runway while the rest of the city, outside the core, may be buried.
The moral of the story is that while seeing may be believing, ignorance is almost certain to be misleading.
Happy Trails.

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