Oh boy, winter!!! This weekend seemed to solidify the fact that yet again, the earth has done its little dance and winter is a-coming. It was cold and I was cranky.
Oh lord help me. Being a prairie girl originally, you would think I’d be used to it. In Saskatchewan, there are only two seasons: Winter and July. Seriously, we’d have snow by October and it’d still be around until mid April.
Unfortunately, with all this snow, we couldn’t even do fun stuff with it. We couldn’t ski, cuz it’s the damned prairies. And we couldn’t play in the snow very much, cuz it was -40. (For all you Americans, -40C is the same as -40F……they converge right there, at the axis of BLOODY DAMNED COLD), and we’d freeze all of our appendages off. Our only decent skihill was Blackstrap, aka ‘The Pimple on the Prairie’. It is literally an old garbage pile that somebody covered up with some dirt, added a chair lift and voila, a ski hill right there in the prairies! Niiiiiice. We went there on a field trip in grade six and I promptly fell down the bunny hill, flipped around a few times and landed on my back with my knee sticking out at an angle that knees do not stick out at. And my stupid skis didn’t come off. Aren’t they supposed to come off when you fly through the air? I don’t know, that’s what I was told. But I don’t know of many skiing pros in Sask, so they might have been full of shit.
I do remember a lot of ice fishing back home. See, since it got so cold, the ice was always thick enough on the lakes to set up a little shack with a fireplace, drill a hole in it and sit 3 inches away from all your closest friends while waiting for some fish to be dumb enough to bite. You’d trek out to the middle of the lake, enter the shack, take a seat in what was eerily remeniscent of a camping ground pit toilet and drop your line in the lake. And then…..you just sit. You put a line in the water and just…….sit. In the cold. And wait. Looking back, I’m not quite sure what was so appealing about this activity, being that I was underage and couldn’t even get drunk. Huh. Who knows.
I remember constantly having to shovel out our old truck during the winter. It was this old piece of crap that had absolutely no weight in the back and it would fish like mad until it would inevitably just smack into the side of some damned snowbank.
Once, in grade 2, I had just come home from school and had the ominous warning of ‘don’t stick to your tongue to something metal’ fresh in my head. I’d learnt it that very day. So….I did it. I stuck my tongue to my house’s aluminum siding. And got my face stuck to my house. Shocking, I was actually a really smart kid. Just not that day. I promptly ripped my face backwards and left half my tongue on the side of the house. Smart Talea, reaaaaal smart.
What else do I remember about the horribleness of winter? Well being the tough prairie folk we were, we did not ONCE have a snow day. Despite three foot snowfalls and -65C weather (honest to god, I shit you not, it hit -65C once in grade 8 with the windchill and NOTHING shut down), everything always remained open. Cuz dammit, that’s why we plug our cars in at night, dontchyaknow!? A little snow? Just drive on it! What are you, from the east or something? Can’t drive in the snow? You’re fired!
I remember my eyelashes freezing shut after I breathed out. The water from my breath would bounce off the scarf covering my nose, hit my eyelashes and flash freeze, making me blind. It was fun. This happened with nostrils all the time too. Super duper fun.
For these reasons and dozens more I have probably blocked from my conscious mind, I am NOT looking forward to winter. I never do. I hate it. I hate being cold. I hate walking all carefully on ice. I hate waddling around in six layers like a fool. I hate how early it gets dark. I hate ruts in the snow. I hate not feeling my ears or fingers for months at a time. I hate that I will inevitably slip on the ice and fall on my ass, to the amusement of bystanders and to the disdain of my aging tailbone.
Cripes. I hate winter. This year, I’m out. I’m joining the polar bears and sleeping through it. Come find me in April. I cannot do it anymore. I can’t. Don’t forget to send presents though. Christmas and my bday are both in winter. Thanks.