Brrr…

It’s cold these days in Vancouver.

Ok, I know, it’s winter and it’s still only -7, -12 with the wind this morning. Nothing to write home about when you grew up in the East, where the temperatures dip towards -20 several times each year and a cold snap means -35, not -5. But what we are experiencing right now is fairly unusual in these parts, and the problem is, a few years of living here turns your average Quebecker into a wuss.

I’m not about to start complaining about the weather, though! I love the cold, or at least I don’t mind it. I just need to adjust. This morning I found out that I should have piled up one more layer of fleece before putting on my down under my Gore-Tex jacket. Duly noted. I’ll do it tomorrow. I also need to start carrying lip balm around and slapping my face and hands with cream if I don’t want my skin to look like that of a crocodile before the end of the week. I’m itching like crazy.

But I know it won’t last, so I’m enjoying every minute of it. I have a widget on my desktop that shows the weather in Montreal and Vancouver, and right now, they’re both showing -6. Unusual. We had snow Saturday night (more about this in a following post), and more is supposedly on its way. The huge snow suit that my cousin lent me for our son to use finally came out of the closet, and although my boy has trouble walking with all that puffiness, he’s warm and cozy in there.

Of course it’s not all fun and games. I haven’t been to Stanley Park lately, but the ducks (who winter here, in the “South”) must be scrambling to find a patch of broken ice on the surface of the pond. The homeless people, who flock here because of our warm weather, are now scrambling to find a place to spend the night. Drivers are visiting the ditch in huge numbers, as nobody here uses snow tires and nobody knows how to drive in the snow anyway. And I’m freezing at the office because it always takes several days before the inside temperature is properly adjusted after a temperature change outside (I’m sure we’ll cook for a few days when the warmth comes back).

On the bright side, we can hope that somewhere in the ravaged forests near Kelowna, the pine beetles are freezing to death inside their trees. Don’t get me wrong: I have nothing against the pine beetles. They are merely doing what they have been doing for thousands of years. But dying in the winter is also a normal thing for them to do, so I’d like to encourage it.

As a side note: some people may be tempted to say that this is proof there is no such thing as global warming. Let there be noted that 50 years ago, ponds and lakes in this area froze over every winter, enough for people to walk on them. Nowadays, if they stay covered with ice for a few days in a row it’s an exception sure to make the news. Draw your own conclusions.

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