squeeky snow

I hate squeeky snow. You know that sound it makes when it is below too-cold-to-be-out degrees? It is like fingernails down a blackboard to me – I can barely even write about it as it sends shivers down my spine. It is usually accompained by frozen eyeballs and nose hairs. I hate that too, but not as much as squeeky snow.

I hate people who share way too much information about their lives in public too. |Squeeky snow, people with no personal boundries, panhandlers when it is the afore mentioned t00-cold-to-be-out degrees – they play upon guilt manipulating my fear of freezing to death into a means of collecting income they did not work for.

I do love the feel of hardwood floors on my bare feet though. The lines of drifted snow with the sharp edges and fat magpies tossing snow to find seeds in the feeder. Oh and hot water and lemon and a warm grain bag to tuck into the blankets. All good.

So, even though the snow was squeeky today, and I hate that, the good outweighed the bad, especially since I am home, tucked in snug.



I think my winter survivalist spirit has finally kicked in – more out of necessity than anything else. We should be looking at the end of winter with dirty snow piles gently drifting away down sewers and flower beds. Instead we have been granted whiteness and death-dealing temperatures.
The poor bunny has been running around the yard in crazy fox & goose patterns though I suspect he is not playing games as much as searching for something edible.
The chickadees have abandon my feeder when I offered corn.
The drifts come up over the doorsill and I need groceries.

All this leads to a need to go outside today. Usually by this time of year I have quit shovelling walk ways, mostly in protest, but it looks like I will be firing up the blower just to get in and out of the house.

Despite my almost fanatical resistance to winter, I will finally pull out all the cold weather gear, don it all and get out there. But it does beg the question – why do I resist? Why avoid wearing socks well into November? Why ignore the over pants and the expensive warm boots? I accept the coat earlier on, but why the rebellion? Is it because of childhood trauma of being packed like a sausage into a one-piece snowsuit and galoshes where one small slip and you were down and unable to right yourself? What perversity in my soul requires me to suffer through each winter freezing and uncomfortable?

I remember having fun in winters. As a child this sort of winter would have seen me outside daily building forts and tunnels and castles in the snow. Even older I would have skied or skated whenever possible, but now I huddle on my chesterfield with blankets, heated grainbags and knitting, listening to the wind moan and whistle around the house and watching the sidewalk drift in.

Perhaps it is fear that guides my behaviours…fear is what guides most, and I could probably argue all, human behaviours. I know the winter can and will kill me if I do not show caution and care when dealing with it. Perhaps that level of alertness it just exhausting after all these years.

So here it is. Food or fear? Which will win out? It comes down to the most basic of human dilemmas, the age-old battle of the human spirit – do we eat or do we freeze?

Returns not allowed

Surreal as it was escaping the frigid whiteness that is Edmonton in February into the green, it is always nice to get home. The bed was too hard, or too soft, the food not quite right or inconvienient to find, the tv channels were all wrong and I could find no comfortable chair.
Being away from home is always, even when planned and longed for, just a bit uncomfortable – like an itchy pair of socks or a shirt with a tag at the back. There is a sense of lack of confidence of how the day will play out, a held breath, always waiting for something.

Upon return, a realization steals in that the monochromatic winter world offers a comfort and a sureity, despite the bite.

While placing my feet on the ground was pleasant, I think the gradual arrival of bare ground and slow melting away of barriers offers a gentler arrival – one designed for the fragile human spirit.


The question of what do you do when it is -41 in Edmonton is answered by a quick plane trip to Vancouver.  Beyond weary, full into exhausted from white on white and attempts on my very life I arrive to breaking clouds, full sun, with actual warmth and green. Great gods, there are colours beyond white! I can walk from car to lodging without mitts, toque and coat done up – hell I can go outside without a coat! Best of all though may be the sheer pleasure of no longer walking on sidewalks of death.

Yes Vancouver is a soul-eating hive of oriental influence, over priced gas and suprisingly limited grocery stores, but there is no snow and the weather isn’t trying to exterminate you…the bus drivers maybe, but at least not the weather.