Archive for February, 2014

The Grove

When we returned from Hawaii we saw a disturbing sight.  The Grove of trees that was to the right (west) of the entrance to Crown Isle from Ryan was gone.  This used to frame the road coming into our development and made you think the neighborhood was something special.

There was a 2 acre plot with a grove of trees that separated Crown Isle Drive from the little mall.  It is now gone.  A company is building 20 executive patio homes on the site.

Irony is that the development is going to be called THE GROVE.  Must be in memory of the grove they cut down to build it.


The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

The Sun came out today

I awoke early this morning while it was still cold to use the snowblower for the 5 ” that fell last night.  Wet, soggy, heavy snow.  The 8 HP machine could barely cope.  Did the 5 driveways and sidewalks that are on my usual route, but unlike the last 3 days, it was in morning sunshine not cascading snow.  We have had close to 20 ” (50 cm)  of wet snow over the last 4 days.  A record for around here.

I have gone out 5 times in the last few days but as I cleared driveways and sidewalks this morning I knew this would be the last time.  The temperature went up to 7°C  in sunshine today and will only get warmer as the week goes on.

Sure enough our driveway and the sidewalk is warm and dry.  Unlike those people that drove over their driveways or did not clear.    They have layers of ice and mounds of frozen barriers left by the plows.

There is a certain satisfaction in a dry driveway with 3 foot high banks of snow on each side.    Granted even those that did no shoveling or clearing will have clear driveways in a couple of days, but I still am satisfied in my efforts.


Paradise Winter Snow

We have spent much of this winter on the West Coast Paradise watching the miserable winter conditions everywhere east of the Rockies.  Record cold and huge snowfalls throughout but relatively mild conditions here.

There is a certain feeling of satisfaction on our decision to retire in Paradise.  Yes we feel sympathy for our friends and family coping with miserable conditions, but we were OK.  Granted a lot of overcast days with some rain, but not as much as previous winters.

So we headed off to Hawaii thinking that when we returned it would be the early start of spring that we are accustomed to in Paradise in late February.

This week however, has been an experience.  In the last 48 hours we have had 40 cm (15″) of wet snow with no wind at all.  Beautiful to look at but miserable driving conditions.

I have been out 3 times today with the snow blower to clear the driveway.  Of course this is not as simple as just clearing the driveway.  I do our driveway and the sidewalks and driveways of our friends and the space in front of the mail boxes.  The problem is that the temperature is +2° C ( 35° F) so the snow is the consistency of wet concrete.  Seniors up and down our street (those not saved by me) are dying of heart attacks trying to shovel it.  My machine can barely keep up.

However in the back yard there is beauty.  One picture is of the birdhouse showing the level of snow.  The other is a picture that Pat took of me where I was using a long pole to knock snow off the trees behind us because the weight of the snow was Clearing Snowbreaking off limbs.  It is going to +8 ° C (46 °F) tomorrow and even warmer as the week goes on.

Birdhouse under Snow

Maui Lifestyle

It is great to be back home even with the 7°C and rain.  While the beautiful sunshine and sunsets will be missed, I love it here.

We were driving back yesterday and as we headed north from Nanaimo we came across deep snow on the roadside.  Apparently the day before we came home there was a major winter storm on the island.  Mount Washington had 100 cm of snow in 48 hours which was twice as much as they had since November.  All along the highway there was a foot of snow and we anticipated the worst when we got home.

But with the peculiar nature of our island when we turned east from the highway into Courtenay the snow disappeared.  Obviously lots of rain over the last week so everything remains green but no snow.

We went out to replenish our food stocks.  While liquor is cheaper in Maui and gas is about $1.10 / L (adjusted) everything else is more expensive than here.

This is a surprise because we expect when we travel to the US that vegetables, milk, cheese and meat is cheaper.  But not the case in Maui.

They have a Costco near the airport in Kahlua and everyone on the island shops there because they are the only place with US mainland pricing.  But it was an hour drive from the resort where we were staying so we paid the premium.  Imagine Americans paying the same price for food as us Canadians.

Still the sunsets and the beaches were great.  Much better beaches than we have here, so I guess a fair trade