Baby, it’s cold outside

22 11 2010

It’s cold.

Toe-freezingly, lip-dehydratingly, don’t-even-think-about-going-out-without-a-hat cold.

Go for a ride? Forget it. Flip on the gas fireplace and surf cycling websites is as close as I’m going to get for a ride as long as we’re in this cold snap.

This is what winter looked like on the weekend.

Thing is, I never used to be such a cold weather wimp. I grew up in Ontario after all, where winter usually starts in late October and doesn’t loosen its grip until sometime in April. I even spent four years in Ottawa, often skating on the frozen Rideau Canal in -30 degrees and blizzards.

Now I shiver just typing those words.

Moving to the West Coast has that effect.

My first year here, 1991, I don’t remember seeing any snow at all. Except on the tops of the North Shore Mountains. Where it belongs.

That’s how most West Coasters think about snow; it’s great, as long as it stays in the mountains. That way we get to decide when we want to frolic in the white stuff, rather than letting the snow get the better of us.

Which is exactly what happened two winters ago, when we seemed to get snowstorm after snowstorm through December so that by the end of the month the whole Lower Mainland was virtually paralyzed.

There is one thing I do like about snow, though; I love shoveling it! When I was living in my old apartment, I bought my own shovel so I could shovel the sidewalk in front, and a few parking spots along the curb, partly to increase my odds of retaining a clear spot for my car when I got home from work or running errands, but mostly because I just loved the exercise, the cold air filling my lungs, the muffled sounds of the city in the snow.

But now that we’re living in a condo, with underground parking, that occasional slice of winter joy is no more; winter’s just cold and unforgiving again.