When Will Winter Go Away?
Just another day on the homestead...
This year, I decided to approach winter with a brand new attitude I had never tried on before: I was going to take it on the chin, so to speak. I wasn’t going to gripe, grumble, moan or otherwise, I was just going to shut up and get on with it.
It’s not that I hate winter, I just wish it didn’t exist. So, yeah, I guess I kind of hate it. The snow is nice, in a reminiscent-of-childhood-antics- gone-by kind of way for the first two to three hours of it, and then it just becomes a pain. A pain I could live with, mind you, if it weren’t for the cold that went along with it.
When I was a kid growing up in the prairies, winter was like the best friend you had who ticked you off on a routine basis – you know, the kind that was really fun to play with, but also had some really annoying habits, like flicking bogies or obliviously letting her tongue wag whenever she was colouring. On top of the stereotypical snowball fights, snow-angels, and snowmen building, we would turn our sleds into missiles, launching ourselves off back-shed roof tops into the snow banks below. When we grew into teenagers, our games matured a little bit as we advance into the art of bumper-skiing (hanging on the back bumper of a moving vehicle and sliding across ice-laden residential streets). Don’t forget, this was the Canadian prairies. There wasn’t a lot else to do if Degrassi Junior High wasn’t on.
Winter wasn’t always great as a kid. I sucked when you had to go out at recess, even if it was -25 outside (that’s -13 F for my American friends). It sucked if mom was a wee bit late picking you up from school. And it really sucked if you accidentally decided to (“ go ahead, do it!”) ignore the rumours, and try to lick the monkey bars. But the skating, sledding, and skiing made up for it.
Winter hasn’t been fun since childhood. Apparently it’s not cool to bumper ski at the age of 35, its just reckless endangerment. It still sucks going outside at -25. Minus 30 is worse, your nose hairs freeze the instant you first inhale. If you’re wondering how cold -30 is, the last line just about sums it up. It literally freezes nose hairs. After -30, it makes no difference. Minus 40 feels exactly the same. Unless there is a wind chill...
Winter means boots, hats, scarves, mitts and hats on, starting the car, warming it up, and driving as fast as you can down your residential street so the rear-wheel drive (why did I ever say “we don’t need a 4WD, never had one when I was growing up!”?) doesn’t permanently lodge itself in front of the neighbour’s house: all to get a couple litres of milk. Scratch that, it means boots x 3, hats x 3, scarves x 3 ... alas, the kids have to come too ... you get the snowdrift.
Getting groceries means braving the biting cold with your over-full shopping cart, just you and the cart against the forces of nature, until you finally have to abandon it in the middle of the parking lot because it won’t push through the snow any longer. So you leave it there, right in the middle of the lane, and back your car up to it to load up the groceries. Why has no one invented the All-Wheel-Drive grocery cart yet?
When we first moved back to Canada, I warned my husband that it would take a couple years for him to adjust and get used to the cold winters. In retrospect I can see I was lying in a delusional, I wish-it-were-true kind of way. Canadians who have lived their whole lives here never get used it.
And all this wouldn’t be so bad, if it winter didn’t last almost 6 MONTHS A YEAR!
Did I mention my husband sprained his ankle yesterday, slipping on glare ice while getting into his car after work?
So my point is, I was doing really, really well at not complaining about winter this year. It is now March the 2nd, and the first time I have complained since winter started last November. It is -21 outside. And we’ve had about 82 feet of snow. I know I have nothing to complain about, it definitely could be a lot worse. I could look at the bright side – as long as it is still freezing, those maniacal, flesh-hungry wasps and their blood-thirsty, West Nile infected, comrades the mosquitoes will stay cryogenically preserved. But I haven’t seen the sun in a few days so it isn’t possible for me to look at the bright side.
What I can start look at it, however, is Expedia. And a ticket out of here. In the next hour, please and thank you.
Scr*w you Old Man Winter, and the curling broom you flew in on!