Today In T.O.

I just wanted to tell you about the snow.

It’s been a long time since I’ve lived in winter.  Experiencing it on a gray day in T.O. was like running into an old friend, from high school, from college.

After a few decades you lose touch with who you used to be, but it comes back with a vengeance once you’re re-exposed.

After looking out the window of the hotel room, I yelled to Felice NO SCHOOL!

Having grown up in L.A., she had no idea of what I was speaking.  She didn’t remember listening to the transistor, to the roll call of towns that had cancelled classes for the day, waiting to hear the name of your own hometown.  You’d listen right up until you walked out the front door.  Hoping, praying, for a day of cartoons, hot chocolate, sitting home in the warmth, staring out at the swirling snow.

But there wasn’t that much snow today.  But there was enough to stick.

But it didn’t seem to slow Toronto down.  People were used to it.

I used to be used to it.  Wouldn’t think twice of staying in when there was precipitation.  Hell, in L.A. people stay home when it RAINS!

And when we got in her Saturn, Karen asked me to pop the hood.  So she could put in some windshield washer fluid.  And two nights ago, Jake had to take out the scraper to remove a layer of ice from all the glass before we could hit the highway.  Everyday activities when one lives where the seasons truly change, but exotic to those living in warmer areas.

And I was stunned to see other cars on the road.  Doesn’t everybody else know it’s SNOWING?

And when we got out of the car for lunch…  My Nikes slid in the snow, I had to put on my gloves, I had to prepare.

And inside the warmth of the restaurant conversation alighted on topics that are discussed on the west coast, but not quite in such depth.  You see not being able to go outside, those in colder climes examine what’s inside.  It’s more about the brain than the body.

And when we were done with our conversation, Karen took us out for a drive.  I saw a man with a plastic toboggan.  And over his shoulder a sledding hill.  I remembered the sensation, I had to fight the urge to jump out of the car and start sliding.

And after ascending a hill we were at this castle.  Although the parking lot was covered with snow, it was not empty.  I recalled outings with my family on winter weekends in the sixties.  Hell, I remember driving home from New York City in a raging snowstorm.  My father was falling asleep, but he wouldn’t surrender the wheel.  And then there was that time we had to stay overnight in Hartford, not being able to move an inch further on our descent from Vermont to our abode near Long Island Sound.

And then we went for ice cream (Greg’s Ice Cream).  I insisted on partaking after Karen waxed rhapsodic about the marshmallow ice cream.  What flavor was it?  MARSHMALLOW!  But what flavor ice cream?  MARSHMALLOW!

I recalled the Chocolate Marshmallow Ribbon ice cream from Friendly’s in the sixties.  Was it like that?

No, it was truly roasted marshmallow.  And as we continued to drive around Toronto scooping the coldness into our mouths, as we warmed our feet by the heater, I was reminded of the statistic that more ice cream per capita is consumed where it’s cold.  Why?

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