Skip to content

Life in Retirement: The beautiful sounds of spring


Ah, the beautiful sounds of spring are drifting through windows that the warmer days are allowing is us crack open. Chickadees are chirping in the trees that line the lane, and the bellow of geese can be heard from fields all around as they take a breather from their migration north. The snowbirds are grumbling about the snow that’s falling on the crates of wine as they unpack their allotted customs quota after the long drive home. Yup, all the birds have flocked back to Canada after a long winter!

Those of us who have been here all along are thinking, ‘You think these last few flakes of the season are bad? You really should have seen 40 below just mere weeks ago.’ It’s easy to forget when retirement allows you to experience one continual mild season all year long. That said, we were lucky with weather for the most part this year and there were, in fact, some days that were actually warmer here than where my circle of snowbirds flock to! It’s not always like that, as us winter-locked people can attest.

One of the first year’s my sister and her husband spent the winter away was one of the coldest winters on record. Cold and stormy. One day they shared a photo from their golf cart as they made their way down the lush fairway. I replied that I would send them a photo from here, but if they just held a white sheet of paper up to their eyes it would be the same affect. But we do manage to survive each winter, thanks to good Canadian resilience and to good people who remember to feed us birds who overwinter here.

Sometimes we’re lucky enough to join the migratory route for a time. Last year as part of my retirement celebration, I traveled to a country in the south to visit my other sister where they romp in the ocean for a few months in the winter. We walked for miles along the beach and enjoyed seafood on lovely patios and shopped for local crafts. And what a lovely pair of handcrafted leather sandals I splurged on! It was strange when I got home, though, and discovered they seemed to fit funny – a discovery I made in front of all my former co-workers back at my old office when I took them in to see if anyone else would like to have them. Ends up they were two different shoes – like different sizes and slightly different colours from one another. That created some laughter among the group, who figured that whatever retired people do when they escape winter causes them to not see clearly.

In the end, it’s great to fly south for a bit when it’s cold here, especially when others allow you to stay at their little home-away nests for a week or two. But it’s also awesome to skate and ski and survive another winter here. It’s what we’re used to, it’s what we do. And when the songbirds return to trumpet the new season, we want to join in with their chorus of the celebration of spring. We made it!

Visit Sandy’s website at