The other day my 91 year old Dad walks into my office and the conversation turns to the weather. “It’s a kwakkel winter” my Dad says. My response was “what did you say?” “Kwakkel winter” my Dad says as though everyone knows that. He went on to explain it is when winter starts and stops in fits and can’t make up its mind. Some snow, some cold, immediately followed by above normal temperatures and melting. Open water. “What is a kwakkel?” I said. “A bird pleased with the prospect of open water in winter” my Dad said. A Kwakkel winter. I mentioned it on my radio show the following day and it seemed to resonate with people. They were inquisitive at concept and like me had never heard the phrase. It appears my Dad was right as I was able to track down the old Dutch definition of the word.