As a kid I used to love winter. I especially enjoyed snow days when the snowplows couldn’t get down our backroads and the school buses were cancelled. Then I’d be found toboganning or cross-country skiing down the hills that formed my parents’ acreage, I’d lace up my skates and whirl around on the ponds in the area, or sometimes even the smooth icy surface that created itself naturally on my parents’ front lawn. A real treat was having the snowstorm hit while you’re in school and the only way you could get home was to be taken home on the back of a snowmobile. That was so cool! (Did anyone else have snowmobile driving lessons as part of their elementary school education? I did!)
But as an adult, I’ve turned into a big old brown bear and hibernate. I dislike the cold, I dislike the snow and I especially dislike freezing rain. I really resent being the designated driveway shoveller even though I’m the only female in a houseful of males. (How did that happen anyway?) I am terrified of having to drive around town in the sleet and ice. It scares me to get emails like this one from Gizmo Guy:
Just about got killed at the corner by us.
Was stopped at the corner – waiting for light – turned green – pulled about 5 feet out – out of the corner of my eye saw a pickup doing about 60 – he goes into a skid – I stop – he is skidding right towards my door – then he manages to swerve around me.
[Note, this is a particularly bad corner in our city – people have been hit and killed by red-light runners in GOOD weather, it’s in a valley between two hills, so in bad weather it’s treacherous]
Go down to the hwy 2 – was going to park in the covered lot across the road – firetrucks and police all in front of it – some big accident.
So I go to midtown – and there is a little hill before you cross the bridge (walking now) – gust of wind come up and blows me back off of it. I managed to stay on my feet – not sure how.
And this after waking up at 5 a.m. listening to a gale whipping around outside and something hitting the roof right above our bedroom. It sounded like our chimney was collapsing (it goes up the outside wall of our bedroom, and we know it needs repointing but keep putting it off.) I had to get up and get dressed and trudge outside into the biting cold to determine that no, it wasn’t the chimney. But we have no idea what kept banging and skittering across the roof – possibly sheets of ice were dislodging?
Yup, definitely a good day to enjoy my favourite winter activity – I’m going to hibernate.
So I’m cuddled up in my lazy-boy reclining chair with my laptop on … well, on my lap as I edit Delving Deep yet again, the gas fireplace is burning (occasionally anyway, it keeps cutting in and out – really need to get that looked at one day), and have a cup of hot chocolate on the table beside me in my Tim Horton’s mug.
And when the wind whistles too loudly or the fireplace cuts out again, I’ll take the time to stare at my screen saver slideshow of the photos I took in Dallas in July of this year or in the Virgin Islands in 2003, or Washington in August 2003, or New Orleans one muggy week in 2000, Disneyworld in 1995, or San Diego and Los Angeles in 1993. Everywhere I’ve ever been that’s warm.
I mean, be honest … would you rather be here, with a temperature that’s dropped 7 degrees Celsius in 6 hours, with storm warnings of freezing rain and blowing snow and gale force winds?
OR would you rather be snorkelling the blue waters off Turtle Beach on St. John’s island of the US Virgin Islands?