Image by Gravitywave via Flickr

If it’s not birds, it’s mosquitoes. The near constant rain has resurrected a long dormant type for double teaming duty with the regular bloodsuckers we normally have. The new variety though isn’t nocturnal. It likes sunshine too making it impossible to avoid being bitten.

The Fort’s soccer fields and playgrounds practically pulsate with them. Dee and I have been swarmed twice in the last week and it makes me wonder how people coped back in yore without pesticide deterrents.

By “swarmed” I mean literally covered. Remember those commercials where the guy sticks his arm into an aquarium filled with the little pests and it disappears under the creatures. That kind of swarmed.

I don’t even have to be bitten to itch. For some reason, just contact sets my skin aflame with intense itching that last for about 10 or so minutes after.

And with West Nile and encephalitis being a mosquito carried threat anymore, it’s hard to shrug the plague off as just a summer side-effect to be endured. It also makes me feel a bit guilty leaving Dee to fend at soccer camp this week, slowly eaten by mosquitoes all day.

Summer in Alberta is not as awesome as years past.

The daughter expressed her fervent wish that the groundhog would not see his shadow today.

That’s right, isn’t it. No shadow. Hello Spring. Shadow. Down the groundhog hole for a snuggle in as the Old Man rages on.

I can never keep it straight. Technically, it amounts to about the same length of time, so the fuss eludes me, but if a shadow free peek see brings this miserable winter to a swift end – I am in favor.

Our second thaw commenced overnight as the temps began climbing back to freezing. The last thaw turned the January snowstorms to mush which froze solid when the arctic blast regained its supremacy, creating jagged grooves and ruts on the unplowed streets that even my truck dislikes negotiating.

This new thaw might give the plows an opportunity to complete their shearing of the remaining roads and haul away the few mountains left at the side of streets and in the parking lots.

Normally, it’s the continuing snowfall in April that gets me, but this year, winter overkill has come early.

Life though has taken on a Groundhog’s Day– like aura in a Bill Murray sort of way.

Okay, not that sinister, but my weeks are interchangeable.

And Rob feels it too.

And a holiday? Not on the horizon. Though I watch with a mixture of envy as those I know fly off and return from warmer climates, I am not sure that an “away” vacation is what I need.

A break from routine, certainly. Lazy days where nothing is scheduled and the clock can be blissfully ignored for a while could do, I feel, wonders.

I’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime, enjoy the day whether Phil sees his shadow or not. Winter stays until he tires or Spring bulks up enough to kick him along his way. It’s out of our hands, regardless.

The last few days have been scorching and this practically on the heels of my whining about a dud summer. We don’t have air conditioning, central or window box. Even the heat waves we can get are not long enough to warrant the expense of a central system, but as our bedrooms are the dormer attic type, we caved and purchased one of those room units that vent to the outside via the attic. It only cools the upstairs and that’s with doors open, but it makes a difference in the quality of one’s sleep.

I grew up without air conditioning. When I was about fourteen, Dad purchased a unit for the kitchen window that basically cooled the kitchen and living room. The summer I left for university, for reasons I still don’t know, Dad decided to install central air. So while I was sweltering in a dormer attic room of Currier Hall, my siblings were living the life of Reilly with central a/c and another out of character purchase for my father – cable television.

Air conditioning was erratic in my apartment years. Sometimes I had it. Mostly I didn’t. It wasn’t until I was 33 and a first time home owner that I lived in true comfort during the sweaty Iowa summers.

When I moved to Alberta, Rob assured me that “heat”, “humidity” and “summer” were near mutually exclusive. The summer we got married, we had a heat wave of 30C or better for nearly a month and a half. Although the humidity really isn’t taxing on a non-native used to summers when it sometimes equaled the temperature, sleeping in an attic bedroom that never cooled was exhausting. Throw in the whole newlywed thing and we were both wrung out zombies for the first few months.

Last night reminded me of that summer. I was baked to the point of migraine. I woke once in the middle of the night and fleetingly realized that one could probably fry an egg on my stomach – and this was in a room with the a/c running its little motor out.

Today the winds have shifted a bit and there is a slightly cool caress in the breeze, but we are exhausted with the effort of keeping hydrated and staving on spontaneous combustion by whatever means necessary.