I wonder how long I will be a Northerner until I give up on justifying my way through winter. What am I talking about? Well, I often convince myself, “This is the worst of it.” Which I repeat every month until I’m sitting on the beach, when winter amnesia kicks in.
This is not technically winter, I know, but it should be. It’s cold. We begrudgingly turn on the heat mid-month, and keep cranking it up as the days go by.
“It’s not that bad,” I say. “It’s only November.”
It’s cold. But there are occasional days where the snow melts before it creates anything more than a light dusting of white, and that’s enough to keep me going.
“Maybe it will be a late winter this year,” I hopefully declare.
Then I realize it’s not even winter yet. Luckily, the month is busy enough that I don’t really realize how many layers I am piling on.
The snow pants and big winter boots come out of the basement.
“Okay, so January is the coldest month,” I say. “But it’s the last of the bad stuff! February is short and March is practically spring.”
I sleep with my socks on and wake up a 6 a.m. to utter darkness. It is -30 outside, not factoring in windchill. All of my Facebook friends from Southern Ontario are complaining about how cold -10 is. Sometimes, Toronto declares a state of emergency due to cold and I laugh and laugh and laugh and then cry a bit.
February is not actually that short. It’s only two days less than most other months. And it’s still freaking cold. What was I thinking?!
There is still snow on the ground. March is not spring.
Flurries. Flurries, flurries, flurries. Why do we live here? Why don’t we move to Bermuda? We could bring the cats and get a hammock.
Guess what? It’s still frigid. But now it rains, too, along with sleet and snow. Sometimes it’s hot and sunny and everyone in town runs around in flip-flops and shorts screaming, “THIS IS SO UNSEASONABLE! I BET WE’RE GOING TO GET MORE SNOW!”
All of my Facebook friends from Southern Ontario are showing off their gardens and patio drinking sessions. I hate them.
The blackflies descend and we forget about the past six months.
Summer is awesome! How did we survive without it?
“I wish summer lasted as long as winter,” I mope.
Summer is leaving, and we are clinging to it as desperately as we can, clawing it back with all our might, quaking in fear of long underwear and window scrapers.
I start bargaining.
“This is the year we’ll try cross-country skiing,” I plead. “Maybe I’ll get skates! Just don’t let it get to -30.”
All of the leaves fall off of the trees at once. We don’t rake because we know it will snow the minute we clean up the yard.
This is not technically winter, I know, but it should be…