January 28, 2015
I don’t understand it. I’m the one who lives above the 49th parallel, for crying out loud! I’m the one who’s supposed to be up to my assets in snow and frigid temps. I’m the one who’s supposed to be house bound due to record snowfalls. Not all my friends in the US Southern States!
And yet, it is indeed my friends south of the border who seem to be suffering the last couple of years with way too much snow and far too many days of cold temperatures. When I see Texas and Virginia and Georgia digging out, I know there has to be something terribly wrong in the world.
If I were egocentric, I’d feel guilty about this weather situation. Let me explain why. To do so, I have to start at the beginning.
I’m Canadian and we have a currency called the Canadian dollar. Very similar to the currency south of the border that is called the American dollar, structure-wise. We had pennies, (no more), and we have nickels, dimes and quarters. Four quarters is one dollar here, just like down there.
And about, oh, six months after my first book came out—somewhere between my first quarterly royalty payment and my second, (back in 2007) the Canadian dollar did something it hadn’t done since Prime Minister Trudeau let it float—not, in fact, since I was a child. It gained strength and value against the U. S. dollar. And with each successive royalty payment (that I received in US dollars) the exchange rate got, for my purposes, worse, and worse, and worse.
Everyone I knew joked that they were saving big time, turning their Canadian dollars to US dollars for travel, thanks to me. I agreed with them. It was just exactly how my luck usually went to have the exchange rate reverse just when I started to be paid in U. S. funds.
I should have become suspicious last year, about the weather, when the cold crept south. You see, my beloved and I were discussing our winter options for the coming years. He has COPD, and breathing in the frigid temperatures of our traditional Canadian winters is very difficult for him.
An acquaintance of mine, a couple years ago, took two months down in Texas as a personal writing retreat. She told us what she paid for a condo on the gulf coast. It was amazingly reasonable—far less expensive than that other Canadian Snow Bird destination, Florida.
“We can do that,” my beloved said. “We just save half of our vacation money, take fewer trips—why, we could go down to Texas ourselves for two months—January and February!” The weather where we were looking to go averaged in the 70s for those months. And, we’d be on the ocean—something that my husband particularly wanted. His employer of 35 plus years had already agreed to let him have a 2 month leave of absence whenever he wanted it.
As for me—well, I can write from anywhere as long as I have my laptop and the Internet.
“Let’s do it!” he said.
“When? Next year?”
I knew we couldn’t really swing it that fast.
“No. I realize we have to plan more. We’ll make it 2016.”
“All right. Let’s do it!”
Those words were spoken in December of 2013.
My beloved and I would like to take this opportunity to offer our sincere apologies to the people of the southern United States, especially the residents of Texas for the cold weather they have been enduring for the last two years. If it’s any comfort to y’all, we have been re-examining the premise of our decision, in view of the temperature adjustment you’ve experienced.
But, on the bright side, the exchange rates have finally reversed again, and that’s good for my payday.