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Tuesday, 04 December 2007



Nice post! I love living in the north for the same reasons (although I'm quite a bit less north than you are). We don't have the sun effects so much, but we do, of course, have the cold and snow. It's bracing and refreshing. Keeps you healthy, which is of course extremely important when you don't have national health care. If we had that, there's be a whole lot less stress and depression in this country!


If you've never faced a "feculent miasma," then you haven't lived.

Even way down here in Texas, in summer I can finish up mowing the lawn at about 9:15 or 9:30 and still see what I'm doing (if my eyes have been out there adjusting while the sun sets -- otherwise, it's just dark outside).

The winter air is bracing and refreshing, as mariaan said. Well, not quite as much here as there, but my one icy hike in 5-degree (Fahrenheit) weather made my eyes hurt, so I've determined that to be my personal frigidity threshhold.


Marian, bracing is one of the words I should have used. One of the finest things about winter that goes largely unappreciated (aside from the bit about bracing) is the total lack of bugs. Wonderful!

Mark, in that case, then I most certainly *have* lived.

It was just a little below 5°F when I was shovelling my driveway and walk this morning. My eyes didn't hurt, but my nose was pretty runny by the end of it. Bracing!


The winter! the brightness that blinds you,
The white land locked tight as a drum,
The cold fear that follows and finds you,
The silence that bludgeons you dumb.
The snows that are older than history,
The woods where the weird shadows slant;
The stillness, the moonlight, the mystery,
I've bade 'em good-bye-- but I can't.

And who would really want to be warm in Plumtree, back in Tennessee?

Moksha Gren

It's all quite poetic...but I'm not convinced I could take it. The cold doesn't bother me. I lived in Breckenridge, CO where the snow piled on by early October and didn't melt until late May and I loved it. It's just the sun that would bother me, I think. Sure, the late summer light would be beautiful, and maybe I'd make it through the winter by repeating my love for those nighttime sunsets like some sort of mantra...but I'm not sure.

As for the health care...I agree whole-heartedly. I wasn't suggesting you run so far south that you get stuck in the 49th Parallel Health Care Pit, but you're so far north even other Candians looke up there and say, "Wow, that's cold, eh?"

Not that I'm trying to rain on your parade. If anything I find it rather inspiring that you can describe with such beauty a situation that would drive me a bit batty.

And you couldn't have just quietly fixed my typo? You had to point your flashing (sic)arrow at it?


Rick, I knew you'd see the title correctly. And yet another bit of poetical goodness that's new to me. My thanks!

Moksha, I have to get my jabs in at you when and as I can. I know you'd give me no quarter and so I provide the same in return. (I'll just fix the next typo... promise.)

As for the cold and the lack of light, I really think the poetical approach is important. Attitude is everything, in this lad's mind, and so to think of the batty-inducing CanaDark from the point of view that inbues it with perhaps more mystery and sombre beauty than a casual experience might provide bolsters one's constitution against the onerous mantle of dusk under which we toil for so many months.


I find myself very unmotivated in the winter. However, Decamber has the shortest days but then we are motivated by Christmas to get through it. There is nothing more amazing to see than the Christmas light the brightest at 5:30 pm. We can head out anywhere right after dinner and take the kids. We would be able to enjoy Christmas lights for at least an hour before we would have to worry about bed and bathtime. There are all sorts of other Christmas stuff to do well after the kids have been in bed. So there, the silver lining :o)


Amy, that's cool that you have that extra time to do that. I guess I should see it that way instead of just feeling bummed that it's too dark by the time I get home from work to take Ben outside for a bike ride or a walk. I set our lawn reindeer to light up at 6 p.m., but realized last night on the way home from work that I needed to crank it back to 5:30. At that hour it's dark enough here to see the glow of Christmas lights, but obviously not as dark as in "CanaDark." I love that word.


I know I am required to make a comment about the wonderful warm winters down here, or how I pulled out the sweaters earlier this week when it went down to 15c.

I do get the long lingering evenings as you wander through the woods. The chance to look out over the fresh snow and see the deer stepping carefully through the crust.

I can visit and enjoy that, then return home to my warmth.

Along those lines, my mother-in-law is in her early 80's and has never seen snow. We are looking around for places to take her in Febuary that will be sure to have some for her. My wife's first reaction "you have friends in Canada, they always have snow there don't they". I think my comments on Toronto gatherings past has "ensnowed" her imagination.


Émilie B

Well you almost made me like some of winter... but no. I like winter well enough, but I'd take the two-to-four-hours-south-of-here version easily. Or just take out January - I could live with that.

Bob, lol! Who was it (a Canadian) who told me a story about going on a cruise in the South and meeting some elderly people, who were really enthused to meet some Canadians and commented on how the warm temperature must seem to them - that they didn't need their coats and boots. When the Canadians corrected that impression to explain the 4 seasons we get, with warmth and t-shirts in the summer, suddenly the elderly couple didn't seem so interested and, later, were seen with some people from Asia, who were maybe more exotic, in the end...


I'm totally with BOB on this one. I was definitely born in the wrong climate. I loved nothing more than when I was in Texas in early January and was outside in jeans and a tshirt. BOB and Emilie, you guys made me think of a story a friend told me. She was in an airport in Florida as a teen and met another girl. When she mentioned she was from Canada, the girl asked what it was like to live in igloos. My friend was not impressed.


Yeah Simon, I'm one of those people that hates the short days, but couldn't picture himself moving south, though lately, I've been feeling the pull southward (ok, not as far as you mentioned).
Winter mildly depresses me with it's lack of sunlight.
On the other hand... I don't know if I could live somewhere that there were never any snow.


Amy darling, I love me some silver linings. You provide me some of the best. (**sappy**)

Mark, I got the word "CanaDark" from a satirical news program up here called This Hour Has 22 Minutes. It was from a segment where one of the "anchors" does a bit about Talking to Americans and the CanaDark was voted the most popular term for the "six months of total darkness" that envelope Canada during the winter. If you search "talking to americans" on YouTube or something, there's some funny stuff on there.

BOB, sweaters aren't really needed until the temp drops below freezing. 15°C calls for no more than a T-shirt.

Émilie, how can you get more exotic than Canadian?!

Tasha, I really couldn't imagine my winters without snow. Sure, getting away from it for a week or two to a tropical clime is uber-awesome, but I really do like me my cold seasons. That's brisk, baby!

Dave, some sort of balance between the hot and the cold is important. And everyone has different thresholds. Like you, I also need my snow.

Moksha Gren

I spent my lunch chuckling along with Rick Mercer. Man...those Americans are clueless.

Although I have a hard time not agreeing that the West Edmonton Mall could stand a bombing.

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