Saturday, December 20, 2008

*sings* It's beginning to look a lot like hypothermia...

El Husbando's computer wallpaper shows a composite satellite image of the Earth with the current weather superimposed over it. A few days ago, clouds obscured most of North America. Basically, the whole continent had a snowstorm.

I live in the one small corner of Canada that consistently doesn't get snow, but we've had it for a week now, and it shows no signs of going away. The temperature is currently about -10 C (14 F).

I happen to be a very efficient heat exchanger when it comes to my environment, i.e. I'm a cold wimp. While most of Canada considers -10 C a laughably balmy winter temperature, it's freakin' freezing to me. At least I grew up on the prairies, and even spent four years of my childhood in Yellowknife, so I know I'm just a wimp.

I'm in good company, in that regard. In the snow, my city entertains. We just don't have the tools to deal with this invasion of angel dandruff. We haven't ice scrapers for windshields, snow shovels for sidewalks, winter tires, proper clothing, or nearly enough snowplows in the city.

Traffic becomes a ballet of pirouetting cars. The tires sing every morning, sounding like herds of drunken sleeping bags unzipping themselves. Every hill peers down its nose at little clusters of vehicles, watching as the drivers whir bravely toward its summit, only to slalom down backward again. One bus driver had to ask his passengers to cluster over the rear axle so he could finish his route.

In the snow, My usually-trendy city loses its fashion mind. High-heeled leather boots are paired with bobble hats and mittens. Long formal coats strain and bulge over the lumps created by four layers of sweaters. People hustle down the street, their hands knotted over their nose or slapping their ears flat to their skull.

Yup. It's a winter wonderland.

The thing that's most amusing is while the locals struggle with the snow, they also find it genuinely exciting. Snow is rare, and pretty, and they associate it with skiing, which is fun. I'm an old grump about the white stuff, but I'm certain they enjoy these little blasts of "real" winter.

My family teases me about my long-lost tolerance for cold, of course. My parents live on the prairies, where -40 C (-40 F) might not be nice, but they can deal with it. My brother is in Iceland, which tends to not get much below 0 C (32 F) but has a wind chill that can freeze-dry your eyeballs. My sister lives in Georgia, and she misses the snow.

Especially around this time of year. It'll be a rare white Christmas for me, and only a few years ago, that was the standard for her.

On El Husbando's weather map right now? More clouds. Apparently we've another big dump of snow on the way, and the city is still crippled from the last one. I'm going to dash out (swaddled like baby Jesus; very festive, n'est pas?) and stock up on food and chocolate, because I intend to hibernate this cold snap out.

El Husbando, loony snow-loving local boy that he is, keeps trying to convince me we need to go for a walk.

(PS - Sarflin, I'm wearing that Icelandic wool sweater/coat you bought right now. It's awesome!)

Pageloads since 01/01/2009: