Spring’s a gas

Today was what, to my humble mind, is emblematic of a spring day: soft light, rising temperatures, enough cold that winter is more concrete than a memory. It’s not what most of the Maritimers I’ve met want spring to be, which seems to resemble a fantasy California. But for me, it’s a good fit–and I’ll have no trouble with another round or three of snow. That’s how spring, in my experience, works. There’s a kind of break from winter’s lock, but it’s not all free-wheeling beds of pansies, except at Disneyland.

Another break has come as well. The Olympic Confectionary, on Barrington Street, has had up signs that has had most passersby worried. The place has been closed for a week or so and the hand-lettered placards on the door have made it clear that the cause is a family emergency of a medical sort, unexpected and severe. This evening, on my way past from Henry House, however, I noticed that the “Lotto-Cold Pop-Full Breakfast” sign was back out on the sidewalk. The lights were on inside the shop and the “Open” sign was hung at a positively rakish angle.

Henry House is opening late tomorrow, according to a sign on their door. They are having natural gas installed. I couldn’t help but think of how antiquated the idiom “Now you’re cooking with gas,” sounded in my grade school teacher’s mouth (not that I can remember which teacher, so clearly not all my pilot lights are on at the moment). Turning to natural gas for cooking here, however, is a very modern, au courant rage.

Another gas-oriented divide in the popular histories of Canada and the US, I learned today, has to do with the petrol sort. During a lunchtime conversation, it became apparent that a generous handful of people present had never pumped gas into a car, or only had done so once or twice. As a non-driver, I have undertaken this task a goodly number of times (although not in recent years) so I was sore amazed. A little more poking revealed that the opportunity to do so–or the requirement–has a much smaller window than my own. While “full service” gas stations began to fade in the US 25 or 30 years ago, here it’s been only about three, I was told.


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