Posted tagged ‘Canadian Winter’

Walking to Work at Minus 37 Celsius

January 16, 2009


Sun is barely up.

Out the front door.  Ice forming on my beard within seconds.

Air is dead calm.   You can hear a pin drop.

Eyes watering.  Eyelashes freezing together.

Feet making loud scrunchy noises on the snow.

Breathing through my nose, and getting an ice-cream headache.

Ski jacket makes funny crinkly noises.  The materials’ gotten brittle.

Face burning…especially two spots on my cheek, where I once got frostbite years ago.

Approaching my office.   (Jesus this is cold!)

Still, I’d rather be here outside…

…than go inside to work!


You know you’ve experienced a true Canadian winter when…

December 19, 2008


You consider it “really cold” when the air burns your face and gives you ice cream headaches.    Or when it makes your eyes water and the tears freeze on your cheeks.

You admitted to scraping the frost off your windshield with your fingernails.   Or with a kitchen spatula.

Everyone crowds the ski hills the first week in December when it’s cold and the trails are barely covered and there are rocks everywhere.  But in late March, nobody goes any more because they’re sick of winter by then.   (Even though it’s sunny and warm and there’s more snow than ever).

Kids, metal poles,  and tongues.    (…Enough said!)

You’ve winter camped and have had to take a crap outside at minus 30C.    And it was much easier to deal with than doing the same thing in June, with the blackflies and mosquitoes.

Your car is still not completely defrosted, but like an idiot, you drive to work anyway.   Hunching over the wheel to peek through the 4 square inches of ice-free windshield forming over the dashboard vent.

November and December SUCK, because it’s dark outside when you leave the house to go to work.   And it’s dark outside when you leave work to come home.

You can’t see through your dirty windshield because you’ve run out of wiper fluid and it’s 20 miles to the next gas station.   You deliberately tailgate a car so that the road-spray moistens your windshield so you can wipe the salt off.

You’ve had frostbite at least once.  And from now on, for the rest of your life, that same spot on your body is the first to get frozen again.

You laugh at Toronto, because those wusses can’t handle snow (Once, they had to call THE ARMY to help dig them out after a storm!)  🙂

As a kid, you’ve spent an hour putting on your hockey gear just to skate on the (10 x 15) foot homemade rink in your back yard .

You’ve lost count at the times you’ve cursed the snow plows, who pile the snow onto your driveway just after you’ve finished shoveling.


If you’re a guy, you’ve peed your name in the snow. (Bonus points for dotting the “i”).

Your resistance to cold gives you a powerful sense of smug when you talk about Vancouver or Southern Ontario (“Oh, them….they’re in the BANANA belt!“)

You enjoy kicking “Smud” off your car (that brownish muddy ice that accumulates on your mud-flaps).

You know all about “getting your skis tuned”, “green wax”, “black ice”, “ice damming”, and “greasy roads”.

When you’re ice fishing, and it’s blowing frigid wind, amd you’re reaching into a bucket of ice-cold water, trying to stick a wiggling minnow on your hook with your bare hand…you suddenly realize that  being at the office ain’t so bad.


You’ve experienced the joys of following a snow-plow on the highway 20 mph.    And trying to pass him while the rock salt goes Ping! Ping! Ping! all over your paint job.

In the East, you’ve seen ski slopes get so icy, you can see the sun reflect off of trails.


You’ve literally ice-skated on the city streets, after a freezing rain storm.

You’ve actually had to DRIVE on highways like this (or try to).

Your hands are so cold,  you try to touch your pinky to your thumb, and you can’t.

You laugh whenever it snows south of the Mason-Dixon life.

In April, when the snow melts, you’re rewarded by four months’ worth of surprises that Rover left in the back yard.   Which are bleached white by now .