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Dear Rich
It is not snowing here, but it is cold.

Don't think that Canada is all about snow, cuz when I was a kid in Vancouver it hardly ever snowed. When it did, the city would freak. SNOW! It was all they could talk about.

School would be let out early. We would make snowmen, put on snow suits, and have snowball fights..we would pack in every possible snow cliches in the time we had. We even poured cream soda on snow and ate it.

I remember one snow day it was bright and sunny and the snow was fresh. My sisters and I took the sleigh and hopped the fence to the botanical gardens. Jackie and Lisa Pony took turns pulling me, while I watched the snow-hugged branches go by and the monkey trees that look more alien than ever. That day was bright bright bright and so quiet.

You know, my first year in Toronto, at thirteen, I looked out the window of my classroom and saw the snow fallling for the first time that year. I pointed it out the girl next to me, with a squeal of uncool delight, fully expecting her register some excitement. But she was just so casual and laughed when I mentioned the school closing early part. School never closes for snow in Toronto. They are hardy in the East, and use snow tires.

Did you know that people die of heart attacks from shovelling their walks every snowfall?In the news, they call it a snow-related death.

Mostly in Vancouver it rained. Sometimes it would rain for two months straight and people would get sad. In Toronto, sometimes you would go outside and you would know for a fact that the cold was strong enough to kill you. Something about the way even your nostrils seemed to seal themselves to protect the inside of your head.

My dog was a Lhasa Apso named Toby. He was a neurotic dog who hated snow because the snowballs would lodge in his long fur. He would pretend to limp, looking up at me. I don't know why we thought he was acting, but people anthropomorphise their pets, I guess. I would lift him up and put him in my jacket, and zip him inside. that made him very happy. He had black lips and an underbite that looked like a badass smile. He'd snuggle in there and I would carry him home.

When we gave him away, I cried so hard, my nose bled.

I have to go to sleep now. It is past one in the morning. Maybe I will dream of Monkey trees.

Yours in monkeys,

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post #416
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