For those of you south of about 45 degrees latitude who get bored looking at Palm trees, this may seem odd, but let me explain.
It has been cold here. Miserably cold. Try to imagine minus 40 F if you can. It freezes your nostril hairs in seconds. It gives a whole new meaning to cool crisp air. It is dangerously cold and it can get, well, rather depressing after the third, fourth, fifth week of it.
When it is THAT cold you spend fifteen minutes layering and bundling just to go out and hope your car, which has been plugged into a warmer all night, starts. You scrap off the ice and while the poor thing tries to thaw and circulate oil, you shovel the driveway of all the snow, piling it into big mounds at the side of the driveway, because where else are you going to put it?.
By now your care should be toasty warm because you just burned about $15 in gas to get it that way!
And you do this every day!! So you can have nice big piles of snow like this.
Most smart Canadians who can afford it, have what we call "command start". You stand at your bedroom window in the buff and yell "Car! START!"
...actually you have to press a button on your ignition key. Voila, the car starts and you head into the shower - much more civil. You may still have to shovel the driveway though. Check the snow gauge.
When it is minus forty however the car may just refuse to start in which case you go back to the old way and may even need your neighbor to come over and attach big long electrical chords from his nice warm car battery that came out of a heated garage to your car battery which is refusing to speak to you because you left it on the driveway all night.
Another wonderful invention which I have in my northern survival kit is the heated seat. You sit down on your car seat and your bum starts to warm up. It is like a built in electric heating pad. Your hands may be frozen, your windshield iced up, your toes icicles, your fan blowing ice particles at you, but your bum is warm. Stop for a hot coffee on the way and things start to look up.
It has been like this more or less since before Christmas and the furnace has been doing overtime and charging accordingly since then.
But this weekend, things changed.
When the temps rise to a balmy 30 F or 1-2 Celsius up north here, you head out there in your bathing suit and shovel a spot on the front lawn for your lawn chair. Okay, not really, but you at least go for an invigorating walk.
And that's what we did early Saturday morning.
This, for those of you who have never experienced a Central Canadian winter, is a snow gauge....
It basically tells you from the kitchen window how long it will take you to shovel the driveway and how late for work you are going to be.
We do get summer. It is way too short but we do get summer and I for one am ready for it now.