Monday, December 15, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...if you live at the North Pole, anyway...

The weather here has been insane this past week! Last Sunday it started snowing while we were in church, and it snowed, and it snowed. And then it started getting cold. Last Thursday it took two hours to get to work, when normally it only takes 45 minutes. Friday afternoon it snowed some more, and traffic was backed up everywhere despite warnings to stay at home - the storm hit right around rush hour and it ended up taking people hours to get home. On Saturday we went to Australia (the movie, not the warm country where it's currently summer, unfortunately) and the normally five minute trip took quite a bit longer - either the snow was loose and slidey under the tires, or it was so packed down it was like driving on ice. The movie was pretty good though, and the theatre was mostly empty.

So if anyone not in Calgary is reading this, let me explain what I mean by cold. We're talking between -25 and -35 cold that when you step outside and breathe, your nose hairs freeze together. If you try to breathe through your mouth to avoid that very weird sensation, you start to cough because your lungs can't get any oxygen out of the frozen air. If you put a scarf over your mouth and nose to try to help with the breathing, the patch by your mouth freezes and is really just gross as it thaws and re-freezes as you breath out and in. You have to plug in your car (technically the block heater which keeps the engine warm) overnight because if you don't, it won't start. If you're going to go through a drive through, you need to test your window first, because there's a good chance it's frozen shut. I don't open the curtains or the blinds in the house because the windows are so cold you may as well be outside. It's so cold that the switches for the trains freeze up and leave crowds of people huddling in poorly heated shelters while they try to get to work. In short, it's so cold that you'd be in danger of loosing small appendages by the time you got to work, if you didn't go out prepared. (Like the lady I saw at the train only wearing thin leather driving down-filled MEC gloves rated to -30 were feeling not quite warm enough...I can't imagine how painful that must have been!)

Have I mentioned how much I love Israel and how nice and warm it was there??!!

My Mom and my brother got here from Nova Scotia yesterday, and it was a beautiful day - the snow was white and sparkling in the sun, and the sky was blue, blue, blue. It was also -30 with the windchill... I was kind of afraid they'd get back on the plane and head home to balmy NS where if it gets to -10 it's a cold winter. But Mom said it reminded her of when she was a kid in central Newfoundland, so they're still here. :) She came bearing seafood, and we had a yummy shrimp and rice thing for dinner, so it's a good thing they did stay!

Now I just have to survive a few more days of this, and then it's supposed to warm back up to -10 or -15, which will be great and we'll all be shedding layers and driving with the windows open. :)


Camille Minichino said...

You wouldn't like CA at Christmas -- the Santas are hot in their suits and the snow comes from a can!

Merry Christmas --
Camille Minichino aka Margaret Grace

Michelle said...

My goodness - I'm such a fan! I'm quite excited that you happened upon my blog! It was your books which introduced me to See's Chocolates, which are now my favourite kind of chocolate. :)

Leah said...

Right now we're at -30 without the windchill...and after last week, IT'S A HEAT WAVE!!! We were dropping below -46 with the windchill. We were supposed to have our live christmas card a week ago, but it was so cold, even stupid sheep wouldn't come out of their shelter to eat (and yet us "smart" humans continued on out in the cold....gee, who's the smart one now! haha).

But that still isn't the coldest I've felt. Try -52 WITHOUT the windchill! So cold, nothing moves: vehicles, animals, not even the wind seemed capable of moving. Even with a scarf your nostrils and lungs hurt from the cold. Vehicles never warmed up fully (if you were stupid enough to try and go somewhere). It was COLD!!!

My conclusion to all this cold's all relative. Driving back from Florida (from 40+ degrees) to 5 degrees coming through Saskatchewan, that was COLD. But man I'd love that 5 degrees right now. When I was in that -52 weather, -35 felt like a heat wave.

But really - I'd be happy if it were always 20+ degrees. Winter holidays anybody?? haha