It rained all night, all day, all evening and then it rained some more.
The grim forecast was all over local news before the Easter long weekend—“Significant rain expected!” “Exercise caution!” “Flood concerns along the Ottawa River!”
On Wednesday, The Weather Network confirmed the four-day outlook and issued a “heavy rainfall” warning.
It was going to be a very rainy Easter.
We take weather warnings seriously in Canada. Umbrellas were tested, splash blocks were placed under downspouts, cars were parked in driveways for a natural, free wash, and we stood ready for up to 50 mm of rain.
Every year, I forget that snow doesn’t melt with the sun—it melts with heavy rain in an ultimate battle between liquid and solid water. Once again, a weather phenomena was going to inconvenience us and ruin one of the only four-day long weekends available to most Canadians.
“Oh well… I have to do the taxes, anyway,” Feng sighed.
“Glad I have three assignments due by Tuesday,” I agreed.
I’ll take a day off when the weather is nicer, it’s one of the perks of freelancing.
Some countries fight against their neighbours, a bad hand they’ve been dealt, geographic, economic and social challenges. In Canada, we mostly fight cold waves, heat waves, snow, fog, ice, wind, rain, extreme, unseasonal, and unexpected weather.
“Feels like someone is pressing a ‘random’ button,” Feng noted. “It’s hot, cold, foggy, windy… and completely unpredictable.”
“Mark, stop playing with the weather!”
On Thursday, the sky was gloomy grey and it seemed it could start pouring any minute, yet, hour after hour, sidewalks stayed mostly dry. There was a faint glimmer of hope in the air—maybe Environment Canada was wrong!—but mostly a strong sense of urgency. Supermarkets and malls would be closed for Good Friday and Easter Monday and since Canadians completely freak out if they have to go without access to groceries and consumer goods for 24 hours, stores were mobbed and shelves were empty. “Better shop before Easter!” “Better shop before the rain!” Never mind Easter treats had been bought long ago—stores were already selling eggs and chocolate bunnies when I came back from Chile mid-March—and never mind rain is unlikely to inconvenience 99% of shoppers who drive from home to work and from work to the supermarket.
And then, when everybody was done shopping, when weary looking retail employees were finally able to go home, it started raining.
It didn’t stop for two days.
Forget about egg hunting in the backyard. The ground is still frozen and it doesn’t absorb water, so it’s soggy. Parks and backyards are flooded.
On days like these, I’d almost rather have snow than rain. Sure, it would be 3-4⁰C cooler and I would end up getting wet as well, but it takes longer to be completely soaked and at least you don’t get splashed by cars driving faster than usual because OMG, RAIN!!! This a constant in Ottawa and I’ve never understood why—it’s not like people are driving convertibles with the top off and are getting soaked like pedestrians, there’s no point in speeding!
I’m okay with shitty spring weather if I pretend it’s still cold, windy and rainy in most of the northern hemisphere. Then I called my mom and learned she was at the beach because it’s hot and sunny in France like it damn should be by the end of April…
At least, we had a fun indoor Easter egg hunt. This year, I wrote a fairly elaborate booklet with clues and instructions, and I’m pretty sure I bought enough chocolate to help myself from Mark’s stash when needed (like he does with mine…).