By now you probably know that my favourite quote is, “if it wasn’t for the weather, most Canadians wouldn’t be able to start a conversation.”
You can put it to the test for yourself. Make a point of counting how many times over the courses of just one day people greet you or lead into a conversation with a comment about the weather. It wouldn’t be fair if I did it, because I’m never sure if strangers are making small talk or if they know who I am and actually want a weather report.
More times than not, people skip right past the weather and ask, “what made you want to be a meteorologist?” The easy answer: my family. I grew up surrounded by people whose daily plans evolved around the weather; as a child, that meant mine did, too. I can’t tell you how many weddings we missed because we were all in the hay field.
That’s the easy answer. If I’m being very honest, my mother inspired me!
My mother was a school teacher who chose to leave the profession to start a family. Her journey is an amazing story that I’m so proud to tell. At the age of 16, she left Summerstown, a small farming community in Ontario, to attend teacher’s college. She boarded a bus with a small suitcase and headed to a big city she had only ever read about. She had a small piece of paper in her pocket - on it was a phone number she should call when she arrived. In the dark of night, she found her way to the boarding house in the middle of the city!
I’ll never forget the first time Mom told me that story: it gave me goose bumps. I know others have stories like it, but, every time I thought of mom alone in the big city, I wanted to be just like her: smart, focused and very brave.
Every time I thought of mom alone in the big city, I wanted to be just like her: smart, focused and very brave.
A few years later, mom and dad decided to start a family, but, in many ways, mom never stopped teaching.
Mom was at the barn with dad every night, so, we were too! Mom sat my sister Monique and me in an old wooden trough. From there, she kept an eye on us while we played with our dolls. When she had a minute, she would come over and tell us stories or read to us.
After chores on clear nights in the summertime, we would lie back on the lawn after sunset and mom would tell us about the planets and the stars, the Big and Little Dipper and we’d talk until the mosquitos chased us back into the house.
Mom could do it all: housework, barn chores, fieldwork. She helped us with our homework and kept the peace in the house. She had a strong grip and an even stronger work ethic. I came to see that mom was showing me, instead of telling me, that I could do anything!
Mom will be 79 at Christmas and continues to lead by example. We are truly blessed. The teaching continues.
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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.