Baked, but bored to tears

There we were. A spirited game of oldtimers’ recreational hockey done for the night. Sitting around cutting everybody down to size – who botched what pass, who couldn’t score if his life depended on it, or, which tender let in the worst goal. Then, not surprisingly, the conversation shifted to comparing planned or dreamed-about vacations in the South. There was this pool-side service or that all-inclusive price or this best beach for just lying in the sun. And I couldn’t resist.

“Yes. Sounds OK,” I said. “Then, what do you do after that?”

Escape south to where?

Traffic crossing the Peace Bridge from Canada to USA. Photo
Traffic crossing the Peace Bridge from Canada to USA. Photo

I’ve seen the ones with the blinds closed tight. There are others where the lights are clearly on night and day. And then there are the telltale driveways – particularly after snowstorms – that haven’t seen a car tire or truck tire tread since New Year’s. Their occupants won’t be back until April at the earliest. And they might as well have posted a sign on their houses:

“Gone to Florida for the winter!”

I don’t know whether it’s because the weather has suddenly been normal and delivered us the snow, wind and cold that February and March are generally supposed to. Or, maybe it’s because the March break is just around the corner. But a lot of my friends, neighbours, some of hockey buddies, a few members of my family and a number of my working colleagues have all bailed and gone south. I can almost hear them testing their snorkels or whipping their golf drivers in practice swings. They’re into escape mode.