Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Winter can be tough in Canada. Right now, as California celebrates more water falling from the sky, their patience is rewarded with an explosion of colors. Spring comes early there. Trees blossom, flowers bloom, and on a good year, hills turn electric shades of green. It's beautiful, albeit pretty hard on the allergies. But I'm not in California. I'm in Saskatchewan, and we still have several weeks of winter.

It's cold here. After multiple days of -20C and below (that's before the windchill folks), I'm beginning to understand why bears hibernate. Living in these temps can be exhausting. It's not just being cold,
 it's getting ready for the cold. Getting ready to go outside involves multiple layers, down overcoats that poke you with the ends of goose feathers through the lining, the right socks, the right boots, a hat scarf and mitts. Forget about gloves, your fingers stay warmer in mitts.

If properly attired, it's not so bad outside. The brisk air almost feels refreshing, and on most days, there's a good amount of sunshine too. It can be very odd to look outside on what is a seemingly beautiful day, only to step out into blasts of cold air that literally take your breath away.

There's more cold than snow here. We've had snow on the ground since October, but rarely get more than 5 to 10 centimeters in a single storm, which are few and far between. Most of the snow we see on a daily basis is in dirty piles on roads and in parking lots. Some of it is combined into the 3" layer of ice that covers residential roads. It makes winter driving interesting at best.

With so much cold weather this year, reportedly the coldest in 20 years, I've taken to indoor activities. I read, binge on Netflix, keep house, cook and bake. The latter is becoming more and more of a pastime. I've found I love the smell of yeast. Making bread is the very act of creation. You give it life, it grows, you foster it, kneed it, let it continue to grow, shape it for it's intended purpose and then fire it into an ideal stasis, ready for consumption. It's a full cycle, that it repeat a couple of times a week, reminding me that winter too is part of a cycle, and soon no doubt, we go onto the next step.

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