‘Another Day in Paradise’
A friend of mine’s daughter is playing hockey at an elite level and I was invited to watch her at the new arena in Paradise, Newfoundland. It was a great game. Afterwards, my buddy made his way to the girl’s locker room while I headed for the front lobby to wait. As I approached the entranceway I was drawn to the outdoors and the spectacle that spread before the building, for the most magnificent skyline splayed before us, dancing on the hill tops and the small waves that cupped the surface of the pond that lay between this vantage and beautiful Conception Bay.
“… an elite level of hockey…”
I captured several snaps with my camera before I sat on the nearby park bench to follow my father’s sage advice, “taking a picture with my mind”. It was lovely. So nice that I even lit a smoke, stalling, eh boy. Truly absorbing the moment.
As I gazed upon the glory of ‘Paradise’ I chuckled to myself, noting that the towns people really couldn’t get away from their roots, situating the depot and all their maintenance equipment in the foreshadows of the view. It was perfect.
“… depot and all their maintenance equipment …”
Well, it was until the entrance doors swung open and a guy came out of the building uttering a litany of profanity about the cold, tucked his head down and ran towards the parking lot with two young maids and their hockey gear in tow.
There’s no doubt there was a chill in the air, and the light wind further intensified the feeling. But c’mon. This is a grown man who looked to be of similar vintage to myself, and I can only assume the girls were his daughters. Either way, he was obviously old enough to know better, yet here he was sporting a pair of those calf length clam digging pants like the girls used to wear – capris they call them. I’m not kidding. He had no socks on inside a slight pair of canvas slip on shoes. Beneath a summer ball cap, he finished out the ensemble with a t shirt and one of those rubberized golf jackets that draws nothing but sweat while offering little solace from anything beyond a slight mist.
You know, I’ve never thought to bring a snow suit on a trip to Florida. People would assume (quite correctly I might add) that I had something seriously wrong with me if they even heard about such absurd behaviour. So why in the name of the Lord would you head into the Newfoundland outdoors with a pretty, summer kit and expect to be anything but miserable in the winter month of May.
“… a snowsuit in Florida…”
Of course, I laughed again. For as I sat back in my comfy ‘Klim’ Snowmobile jacket, my ‘Arcteryx’ lined pants, the wool cap my mother recently knit, and a good pair of leather cuffs, I couldn’t help thinking about “Paradise” and the fact that no matter where we end up, it seems we’ll always have the option of making a heaven or a hell out of any situation we face.
While I often remind people that there’s no such thing as bad weather in Newfoundland – just different types of good weather. In this case I’m thinking of the far more familiar expression, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices.”
“… winter month of May.”
Here’s to “another day in Paradise!”
Many thanks for taking the time to read.