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Aah, winter

Aaah winter...Crisp days. Frozen canal. Bundling up... the reality when a portion of the year has temperatures dipping below zero.

Posing on the side of a snowy mountain
Skiing in BC

I'm good with winter. Us Canadians, we have to embrace it; there's no avoiding it. Although sometimes the (literal) cold reality is a bit much. But often that cold can be refreshing, like it bites through layers of complacency and inspires a new way of meeting life head-on.

I try to enjoy every season, because what's the alternative? Being miserable -- that's no fun. Here's hubby and I enjoying it last winter in British Columbia:

When I travel to ski-destinations, friends think I'm nuts. They ask, "Why wouldn't you go south and avoid all that cold and snow?" I just smile, knowing my ski-days will probably end before my sun-days.

Karen and pup on the canal ice

Hubby and I choose to stay as active as possible for as long as possible (keeping in mind that we're not at retirement age yet!). So we don our coats, pack up our skis and book trips to the mountains.

Where I live now--between two great lakes--I seem to get grey days, day-after-day. It's hard not to get depressed when there's no difference between the sky and the ground. Gloomy sights all around. Might as well stay in, warm and cozy, and read a book.

Snow-ladened Trees

But there are mornings when I wake up to the sun blazing out in a triumphantly vengeful return. Days so bright that my squinting eyes tear up. I pull on my new (thick, warm, and BONUS - waterproof!) winter boots, snuggle into my lined bomber-style jacket (also new last fall!), put the leash on a dog or two and step out into the winter wonderland.

Suddenly winter is awesome.

Snow crunches underfoot. Air so biting that the insides of my nostrils freeze up immediately. I squint in the spotlight-like blinding light.

Before long, eyes adjust, nose runs, heat from motion warms up my limbs. Dogs frolics through drifts, spray of flakes trailing behind them. Trees and bushes stand out like sentinels.

Golden Retriever chewing on a stick under a snow-covered pine
This Pup Likes the Snow

And then there's the days when it snows...flakes falling furiously, sky and ground the exact same colour, the roar of the sanding truck growling down the road intent on covering all the city streets twice in one shift. People grudgingly emerge to clear driveways of a dump of snow. Okay, it's made easier by the snow-blower, but still...the odor of gasoline sticks and it ends up in the house...

To counter that, at least we can chat with all the neighbours, also out scraping clean the driveways. It's a shared chore, and it builds a sense of neighbourhood community.

Winter doesn't last forever - nothing does.

Besides, what's unavoidable might as well be embraced, like our crazy/brave dog does:

Pup swimming at the edge of a snow-covered lake in the Alberta mountains
This Pup Doesn't Mind the Icy Water

Happy Valentine's Day!!

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