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CINDY'S WEATHER MAIL: Perspective from a coal miner's daughter

Watching the weather over the Mira River.
Watching the weather over the Mira River. - 123RF Stock Photo

Dear Cindy,

My dad would have loved your page in the Cape Breton Post.  He was a coal miner, so it defies logic for a guy who spent his working life underground. Or maybe it was because of that.

He was an avid gardener, but it was the same, winter and summer.  In our house the radio was always on and, when you heard that music indicating it was time for the weather on the CBC (one of our two radio stations at the time) everything had to stop immediately: play, kitchen-chopping or pots-and-pans sounds, and especially talking – or suffer his look-that-could-kill.

When I was little and there was a thunderstorm approaching, he would take me in the car to the “big” Glace Bay Beach and we’d sit enjoying the show until the storm passed.  And in the summer at Mira we’d sit in the picture window watching the storm go down the river, and while we were exclaiming “that was a good one!” my mother lay in bed with the covers over her head.  So he instilled a lot of that in me, though I’m more interested in learning about the why’s and the how’s of weather.  I love your column for that.

After he retired in the mid-seventies, dad made a note every day of the temperature and barometric pressure and notable weather – starting in 1973.  After he died in 2004 we found a whole stack of little day-timers; he’d kept them all! In his later years, by looking back at his notes, he realized that certain weather conditions often occurred on or within a day of the same date.  It gave him a kick to prognosticate based on his notes.

One last thing: MY Polish grandma used to say – for Glace Bay anyway – don’t plant annuals till after the last full moon in June.  Sure enough, we’ve had years (two not so long ago) when June had a blue moon and we did indeed have frost June 28 or 29.

Donna Troicuk,

Glace Bay, N.S.

Every week we receive handwritten notes, photos and emails from our loyal Weather by Day readers. On occasion, we'll publish some of our favourite submissions in a new series called Weather Mail. Send us your thoughts, observations and photos to

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