Friday, January 3, 2014

Bragging Rights?

All of my life I have very much enjoyed winter. For all of those who curse the snow, shoveling, frozen noses, freezing temperatures and panic stricken moments of whether or not you will be able to hold your bladder long enough to peel off your multiple layers of clothing, I have fond memories of winter.

First of all, winter is a beautiful season! When the snow envelopes every inch of your vision and creates a soft blanket of majestic whiteness, there is just nothing more gorgeous to look at. Snow creates a clean slate for all of the ugly out there (unfortunately it also covers hidden piles of dog poop but if dog owners were responsible and not useless human beings, then this would not be the fault of winter).

Second of all, winter gives us (at least me) that amazing "Omigod it snowed!" sensation in your chest. You know when you wake up and the light coming in from your window is different than it normally is? It's slightly brighter and calmer than usual and you whip open your curtains to knowingly discover the world covered in white! Then you smile, clasp your hands together in glee and eagerly begin the day knowing that the world is prettier than it was yesterday.

Third, winter is fun. Skiing, snowboarding, sledding, hiking, showshoeing, snow angels, snow forts, snowmen and catching snowflakes on your tongue...all great things. Snow brings out the kid in everyone.

Lastly, winter is so much fun to drive in! The secret to not being one of those people who have panic attacks every time that winter comes around consists of two parts.

Part 1 - Get some good tires. Put your car on something reliable. This will help your confidence when having to face an early morning drive in fresh snow.

I just got a little giddy thinking about driving in early morning fresh snow.

Part 2 - Don't care about what other people think about your driving. If you're driving along and some a-hole is riding your rear while you cautiously make your way down the road, don't get all panicky thinking "Oh no! That person is judging me for driving so slowly! I need to hurry up." Don't hurry up. Take your time. So what if that guy curses you and has to, OH NO! go around you! He's the one that is going to end up in a ditch somewhere and have to pay for a tow-truck to bail him out. Not you. Yeah you'll get to work 10 minutes later than usual, but I'm sure your boss would rather have you there 10 minutes late than not at all.

Better yet, leave 10 minutes early. Now doesn't that sound like a reasonable compromise?

I am writing this post because I had a rather heart-wrenching moment the other day and I feel the need to come clean about it. I believe it was the 29th of December and I was hiking up a mountain with a friend and as I looked around me, I had the sudden realization that it was the 29th of December! Here I was climbing a mountain wearing running shoes and a spring coat and at one point I had to remove a layer of clothing because I was overdressed. The trees around me were green and lush, the creeks all had running water and the ground was soft. This was winter. My new Vancouver Island winter.

And it was kind of awesome.

A huge part of me is feeling an large sense of guilt for enjoying this new form of winter. Why am I not missing the snow and the cold? Where is my nostalgia for that morning wake-up of fresh snow excitement? Why don't I feel the sudden urge to throw a snowball at the back of my sister's head while she walks ahead of me on the trails?

Ok, THAT urge will never go away until the day I die. Nothing beats a surprise snowball to the back of the skull and I most definitely will do it the next time I get the chance to.

Today is January 3rd and it was 7 degrees this afternoon. I walked down to the mall and it was sunny, the wind was calm and therefore nice enough to leave my winter coat at home. Where else in Canada does this happen? Anywhere? Certainly not the places I have lived in the past.

I've spoken to many people who were born and raised on Vancouver Island and the majority of them said that they hate it when it snows. They're scared to drive in it and hate dealing with the burden of it when it does make an appearance. They're just not used to it, that's all. I grew up with snow every winter of my life, so I am used to having it around and adjusting my schedule to it. Am I now going to become one of those snow-cursing people who panic at the sight of a snow cloud? Gosh I hope not! That's way more scary than a few silly inches of snow when driving on summer tires (did that this year and dang it was fun).

So who gets the bragging rights? The people who don't get the snow and get to wear shorts all year round? Or the people who get piles and piles of the playful white stuff and learn to live their lives in a winter wonderland? There are pros and cons to both lifestyle choice and I am interested to see how I evolve in this snow-less world I am currently in.

Stay tuned.

One of my favourite commercials ever. 

1 comment:

  1. Teeheehee. That commercial made me giggle. At first I expected it to be a play on politeness, like "please pull over, we're trying to arrest you", "thank you for your hard work, but I can't pull over, but please drive safe while chasing me", that sort of thing. But this works too. I heart Canada.

    As for mild winters, yeah, living in Seattle for 15 years, I totally understand! Living in Wyoming now… slightly different! Not much snowier here, but much colder and way sunnier. It's weird how our perceptions of what "winter" means change with where we live.