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The Weather Network
Nov. 26, 2020 | Thursday
Editorials and Opinions
NOTL Reflections: COVID-19 masks can't hide joy of NOTLers during Indian Summer
Ryerson Park

Despite some cold weather of late, this November has been a joy, despite the many serious issues dominating our lives. On top of the global pandemic, the hostile and puzzling U.S. election and political reality, we have to be so conscious of political correctness. And rightly so.

Even the theme for this happy story had to be researched. I learned that “Indian Summer” is a spell of unseasonably warm, dry weather that may occur in October or even November. Often after a frost, added my Chautauqua neighbour Barry Hill. So, Indian Summer it is, not Indigenous Summer.

Queen Street has been busy with locals and visitors, walking with a spring in their steps, waving, sharing chats, and exchanging positive comments about the perfect weather. We’ll get through the pandemic, together.

The coloured leaves, people enjoying Queen’s Royal, Simcoe, Ryerson and our other public parks, so many loud motorcycles getting in a late fall bonus ride, loud muscle cars and vintage automobiles … what FUN! The whole town has seemed so festive, so alive. A hardy young local family up to their knees in the chilly Niagara River at Ball’s Beach.

An ice cream cone from the StageCoach (puh-leez, who goes downtown for an ice cream cup?),  Algonquin Canoe, my favorite flavour, with so many pure canoe trip memories.

Quaffing an ice cold Oast House Barnraiser on an outdoor patio, wondering what happened to the Stanley Cup finals. Deciding whether to play Wallbangers hockey early on Sunday mornings. COVID-19 protocols minimize dressing room macho time and don’t allow team showers. Not even one or two spectators allowed in the stands. Heck, I’ve been playing in front of empty seats since 1968. No big deal.

Two very positive interactions with Niagara Regional Police constables. One in Welland, asking directions because I don’t have GPS in my car. The young man couldn’t have been more helpful and was happy to be starting a shift “walking the beat.” He hopes they continue with increased personal contacts, the way it used to be.

The other on Niagara Stone Road, after I had pulled over to answer an iPhone call. A police SUV pulled up beside me, and the polite and professional young copper asked me if everything was all right. They were searching the area for a “domestic suspect, about 40, driving a small white car." I wished him good luck, he wished me a pleasant good evening, asked me to be on the lookout and reminded me to be careful.

And on a recent Saturday, the junk food shelves at the Valu-marts were half-empty. And therefore, half-full. NOTLers were buying Cheetos, Cheezies and Doritos to celebrate the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris victory. Yikes, nearly half of Americans had voted for Donald Trump. The next day, a lot of people with orange fingers and lips.

Happy people, like Naveen at the Petro Canada, and the two Dougs keeping the mean streets of NOTL clean and tidy.

The Memorial Park tennis courts have been so busy and so was the NOTL Golf Course. Riding my bike, I saw a friend in the sand trap by the 4th green. It took him three tries to keep out of the trap, and his ball cozied up next to the flagstick. He seemed to be happy, with a tap in triple-bogey 6. Life is good during Indian summer, eh?

We are so fortunate to live in Canada … in 2020.

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