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Front-yard umbrella the first sign of spring

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Norm Grywinski used a remote to take this photo of himself enjoying the first warm weekend of spring atop the snow hill in his front yard.

PHOTO BY NORM GRYWINSKI Enlarge Image

Norm Grywinski used a remote to take this photo of himself enjoying the first warm weekend of spring atop the snow hill in his front yard. Photo Store

Norm Grywinski celebrated the first weekend of above-zero temperatures by unfolding the season’s first lawn chair and patio umbrella. He was no doubt also the first person in our neighbourhood to wear shorts and a T-shirt outside!

In the summer, Norm is known for his beautiful flower garden that fills the neighbourhood with colour. In the winter,   he is known for his generosity and kind nature as he has helped many of his neighbours by plowing our driveways after the most menacing of snow falls.

And now know him for his sense of humour in the spring.

"I guess after this winter,  a little bit of craziness is an OK thing," Norm said.

Who can disagree? We have lived through the coldest winter in decades.

"I have friends that go to Mexico for three months so they’ll send me pictures of them cavorting in the water but this is how hardy Winnipeggers do it to survive their winters.  Last year I took a picture like this in the backyard holding a beer."

This year, Norm built stairs into the tower of snow in his front yard.  From 15 feet down below, the umbrella is an eye catcher. While talking in his garage we couldn’t help but notice how many cars slowed down to look.

"It is funny, the reactions you get from cars driving by — I thought someone yesterday was going to drive into that snow bank."

As we continued to chat, one driver stopped, opened his window and shouted:

"That is very funny — that is the sense of humour that we need right about now! I was driving by the other way and I came back this way to snap a picture!"

"That’s good — you take care!" Norm shouted back.  

Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.

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