Winter’s first snow fell this morning; tiny flakes sifting down and gathering on the streets and between the grass. I’m not a fan of winter. Here in Alberta, it’s long and bone chilling cold with temperatures that drop well below -30 Celsius (-22 Fahrenheit). This year’s snow came late. It’s often here before Halloween and it doesn’t melt away again until sometime in April. Roads are often icy and travel can be treacherous. I almost did a full circle in an intersection this afternoon and that’s with good winter tires on!
It’s easy to dwell on the negatives but this year, as winter approached, I began thinking about the things that I like about winter. It’s not a very long list but here are a few.
I’m sure that there are beautiful sunrises at other times of the year but that’s another thing about Alberta, long hours of daylight in the summer and equally long hours of darkness in the winter. I’m never up early enough to see the sun come up in the summer but, as difficult as it is to crawl out of bed in the dark of winter, I’m often rewarded with a glorious sunrise.
Cross country skiing
Winter can be pretty depressing but when the weather allows, getting outdoors and getting active is invigorating. There’s nothing better than the swish of my skis under a crystal blue sky with snow sparkling all around me to lift my spirits.
Drama is my other favourite winter activity. This winter’s play will be The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon, a story about curling, the quintessential Canadian winter sport. More than a few curling fanatics would consider selling their souls to the devil for a chance to compete in the national championship known as the Brier. Set in small town Alberta in the 1930s, W.O. Mitchell’s hilarious story tells what happens when main character, Wullie MacCrimmon, has the opportunity to do just that! Auditions were held on Wednesday evening and now I wait to find out whether or not I get the role I really want.
Last but not least, one of the best things about winter is boots. I’m not sure why but I really like wearing boots! My absolute favourites are my old well-worn brown leather ankle boots. I loved them the moment I first saw them and was thrilled when Richard gave them to me for Christmas many years ago. They’ve been reheeled and resoled and fit like a glove. Then there’s my brand new pair of tall black fashion boots. The slouched look and the strap detail around the heel give them an edgy look that I really like. Of course, when the temperature plunges neither of these pairs would keep my feet from freezing for long so I also have my trusty Cougars. With warm insulated lining and deeply treaded rubber soles, they’ll easily take me through the long snowy winter that lies ahead.