The petals of the Japanese flowering cherries fluttered onto Blythe's head as she jogged back to the house with Rafe snatching playfully at the leash. She shook the flecks of pink from her auburn curls and stopped to admire the floral shower. The trees were late this year. Normally they would have finished blooming the first part of December.
Snow at Christmastime, and the many fun activities connected with it, is becoming a rare occurrence in some parts of the province.
Time was running out and there was still so much to do before Christmas and the New Year garden party she was planning for the dawn of 2050.
The backyard was first. The tulips and daffys had to be deadheaded and there was that big pile of compost to spread. Rafe had managed to put a dent in it, but four paws flinging it in every direction wasn't exactly what she had in mind.
As she worked at making things presentable, memories of her grandmother kept her company. As a child she used to love swinging in the rope hammock with nana as she told her about the days before the climate changed.
Winter was much colder then and snow was common. Children could roll it and make snowmen, slide with reckless abandon down hillsides or dig tunnels through small mountains of the stuff.
Blythe didn't quite understand how it could be so, but Nana had told her that the seasons were completely different than they were now and that winter used to be a time for gardens to sleep.
It certainly wasn't like that now, she thought, as she washed her dirty hands beneath the tap and filled a bowl for Rafe.
She'd often thought what it must have been like to experience snow. Regretfully, that would only happen in fairytales she conceded.
Christmas Day she awoke shivering beneath the duvet. Why was it so cold? She'd never experienced such low temperatures. She slid out of bed and peeked out the garden door. She rubbed her eyes and gasped. Was she still dreaming?
The climbing rose canes over her arbour glittered with frost, each leaf rimmed in silver. A beautiful blanket of pure white snow blanketed the ground and the plumes of the ornamental grass bent over gracefully, topped with fluffy hats.
Rafe whined and pawed at the door.
She smiled down at him.
"Merry Christmas, guy," she whispered.
"Let's go. We've got snowmen to build."