Suddenly, spring is the new winter

Our latest column from William Thomas

I think I lost my spring cleaning list … in a snowbank.

Cold, cloudy, rainy, foggy, damp, drizzly and whatever the meteorological term for ‘blah’ is, this spring has given us an inkling of what it would be like to live in an Arctic rain forest. Or a car wash in downtown Iqaluit.

Rainfall is setting records and flooding is at an all-time high. TV clips of people canoeing down Main Street and fishing off their front porches are getting old. I no longer mow my lawn I just sop it up with Bounty “the quicker picker upper.”

I’ve put butterfly decals on all my windows to keep the birds from crashing into them. I used to think they were just disoriented at this time of year. Now I think they’re trying to break into the house for a warmer place to mate.

Normally by now I’d have my set of wooden stairs hooked from the top of the breakwall to the beach but not this spring. No beach. Lake Erie is higher than it’s ever been and according to the U.S. Corp of Engineers about to rise even higher this summer. So I placed the beach stairs against the house in case I have to take to the roof ahead of the surge.

Right now, for residents along the North Shore of Lake Erie there is a very fine line between living on the lake and living in the lake. In my case the demarcation line is 60 feet. Honestly, I don’t know whether I should move the house back or just hook it up to an outboard motor.

Instead of blooming, the tulips are returning to Holland where at least they have dykes to protect them. I think today is the day I should weed the garden but I don’t own a pair of waders.

Yesterday I hooked up a pump to drain the swamp that used to be my driveway and … “Oh, hello Mr. President. What? No. The closest strip joint is in Niagara Falls.”

Every night I go to bed listening to the waves hammering my concrete breakwall and ships honking at each other in the fog. Every morning I wake up with a soaker and I haven’t left the house yet. As it turns out this spring’s switch to daylight saving time gave us an extra hour of heavy rainfall.

Yesterday I heard what I thought was a chain saw next door but when I went to look, my neighbor was using an electric drill to install eave troughs on his car.

I mean seriously, this spring three straight days of rain has become known as ‘a long weekend.’ So cold and damp, this spring has people praying for stifling heat and unbearable humidity.

Exactly how bad is it?

Last weekend the sun came out and people reset their clocks and watches believing it must be a full moon. Environment Canada got tired of predicting rain, drizzle, high winds and thunderstorms so now they just say: “Okay, another lousy day today but at least there won’t be hail!”

There’s been so much rain in Toronto, flashers in that city really did have to wear rain coats! There’s so much flooding in Ontario, land owners are stressed out and alcohol consumption has nearly doubled prompting Premier Doug Ford to add that to his resume! So far this season the Blue Jays have had three games postponed because of rain… and that was with the roof closed! It’s so bad Toronto city council has decided that instead of sand bagging the Toronto Islands they’re going to keep the ferries running and rename the place Venice!

It’s as if a dark cloud cover has replaced the planet’s ozone layer. Case in point, in May, Neutrogena the company that makes sun screen laid off 4,000 employees and the next day they all got jobs at the GustBuster Umbrella Company.

The usually bitter spring has caused mariners to reword their ancient rhyme to: “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky at morning, another freakin’ flood warning.”

So much rain, the two remaining Beatles really are thinking about living in that Yellow Submarine.

So much rain Port Colborne organizers of the International Walleye tournament are thinking of moving it indoors.

In this nation’s capital, the Ottawa River is overflowing causing a serious septic situation with all the waste material that surfaces in the House of Commons during Question Period.

They’ve had so much rain in Niagara Falls, three dolphins escaped from Marineland and swam back in before anybody noticed. So much water is pouring over the Sir Adam Beck Generating Stations at Niagara Falls, Ontario Hydro is going to give us all a 25% discount on our electric bills. (Just wanted to make sure you were still reading this column!)

There’s so much standing water out here in Wainfleet our MPP Sam Oosterhoff has switched his life-long quest from “Pro Life” to “Pro Life Jackets.”

Bottom line – hope, which normally springs eternal at this time of year has been put on hold indefinitely. Oh, and the bottom line? It’s also under water.

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