For a week, there was snow, and there was ice, and the wind blew thru the city streets and made us pull up our scarves and search for shelter at the bus stops. The sky was grey, showing us what a Canadian winter looks like, and the barely-glowing circle of the sun sunk below the horizon at half past four, making it dark before dinner time.
It was all these things, winter was, but it was all these things only to us. To the Canadians around us, the weather must have felt balmy. They walked around without gloves and without hats, some without coats, and some with bare shoulders exposed to the wind. Certainly, no one had the besieged look that we must have had.
Then yesterday we flew home. The night sky was clear and Orion was climbing out of the east as we began our descent. From 30 thousand feet, the view out the window was astounding -- the stars, the lights of cities splayed across the landscape, glowing sky far in the east where Houston hid beyond the horizon.
Overhead, there was not a cloud to be seen. Imagine what the daytime must have been like. As we touched down, there were no piles of shovelled snow to step over or a spots of ice to negotiate. Indeed, as we got off the plane, we did all we could to take off our coats and the layers under them that had served us so well just a few hours before.
And today the sky was blue and the birds were singing when Trudy slid open the patio door to let in the morning air. We rolled down the windows on the way to lunch, and I opened the sunroof on the way home in the afternoon. The subfreezing winter of the north was far away.
So why do I feel like riding up the ski lift for another run down the hill?
Returning to Austin from Ottawa
9:16:04 PM permalink:  feedback: comments: 
Historian Richard Drayton offers some insights into American megalomania and our blundering in Iraq:
[Drayton/Guardian - shock and awe]: The US has proved able to destroy massively - but not create, or even control. Afghanistan and Iraq lie in ruins, yet the occupiers cower behind concrete mountains.
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