The last few days here in Toon Town have been brutal in terms of the weather. I don’t often talk about the weather here, except if it should come up in a discussion about weather magic, but this warrants it. When you have temperatures that are in the -30’sC and the wind chill is in the -40’sC, it is darn cold….COLD!
Now, I grew up in Saskatchewan. The common phrase here is, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute and it will change.” To a large degree there is truth in that. But sometimes we get long lasting heat waves and then sometimes we get long lasting whatever THIS is…the DEEP FREEZE. The last time I remember it getting this cold was in 1995, the day after my eldest child was born. It was so cold out that the plaster walls in the house in which we were living would pop. It would sound like a gun went off right beside you and suddenly there was a six-foot-long crack in the wall. That winter we also got a LOT of snow. This winter is the same. It might not be record-breaking, but it is significant.
Now, I can tolerate the cold. You can always put more clothes on, if need be, unlike the opposite in a heat wave. But when it is this bitterly cold out AND you get dumped on with snow from our ever-loving Mother Nature, it has a profound psychological effect. At least it does for me. It makes me feel somewhat hopeless. Shoveling snow is not one of my favorite pastimes. Doing it in -30C weather even less so. I now completely understand why some folks become snowbirds and go off to Arizona for the winter. I would likely do the same if I could afford to, and if I liked the United States in general.
Don’t get me wrong. I have wonderful friends south of the 49th parallel. But to actually go TO the United States is not at all on my bucket list. Yes, I have been there a few times. Each time I have run into situations where the redneck attitudes have clashed with my more liberal ways. Those folks are not going to change, and neither am I, so I just stay away now and live up here in what many U.S. folks think is an igloo. Thank goodness it is not, because at least we have a furnace and a fireplace.
As I let the dogs out to do their business, I am very well aware that this weather is horrible on their little bodies. So, I do not leave the back door. I stay for the 3.5 seconds that it takes them to do their business and get back to the door. Or sometimes I go out with them (at least twice a day) to clean up after them. I get a dog bag out of my pocket and by the time it is open they are at the back door. So, I let them in and continue to clean up the yard. You can tell that they are concerned because when I come back in, they almost audibly heave a sigh of relief that I MADE IT BACK! My eyeballs may be frozen, my testicles may be retracted up to my throat, and my finger and toe tips may be black from frostbite, but I MADE IT!
I have taken a week off of work between Christmas and New Year’s, and I am only going outside when it is absolutely necessary. I am not attending any parties (not that there are a lot going on with the pandemic still happening) and if I need something from the grocery store, I will deal with it then…or put it on the list for next year.
There are some benefits to this entire thing. Yes, you read that correctly. Here they are:
- I am spending less on gasoline because I am going nowhere.
- I am getting household projects completed.
- The laundry does not have an opportunity to pile up.
- The dishes get done because I have the time.
- I get LOTS of cuddle time with the dogs.
- I get to not feel guilty at all about spending my time with Netflix or Amazon Prime video.
- I am currently reading not one, but two fascinating books.
- My guitar playing is improving exponentially as I have LOTS of time to practice.
- I may get a hallway painted.
- If I don’t get the hallway painted, then I don’t have to feel guilty because I am on holidays.
These are just a few of the things that I look at as benefits and perks to this situation. I know quite well that these are ways of making myself feel like I am holding onto at least a thread of my sanity. That suits me just fine. If I had kept any of my children’s’ Lego blocks, I might have pulled them out and started to build. But I did not keep them. I knew how addictive they could be and thank goodness I got rid of them. After all, I do have to be back at work next week! I would hate to show up late.