Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ice and Frost

Here in Edmonton we've gone through some cold days. To any Americans who read this, temperatures have been well below -6 F. Over the weekend we were the second coldest place on early with a frigid record low of -46.1 C and -58.4 C with the windchill. That's -73.12 F with windchill, people!

There's a weird sense of pride when you go through winters like this. Even though I'm in my warm office or my warm apartment, I still feel pretty bad ass when temperatures are so insanely cold and I'm walking from the train with my jacket, scarf and touque, feelin' like survivor man for making it the three whole blocks. Sad, on my behalf, but awesome in general.

Then suddenly your body adjusts and you feel fine after a couple of days and when the temperature goes back to something sane like -20 C, it feels warm and you don't button your jacket up.

It also makes me think about when my sister and I would go swimming at the local recreation centre a few blocks from our blue house, near Whyte ave. Every Sunday we'd walk home after the free swim with our hair soaking and after half a block, our hair would jingle as we shook it. The strands turning into icicles resembling dreadlocks and we'd wonder aloud if they'd snap. They never did, as we'd bend the frozen chunks of hair but I'm unsure how we'd react if they actually had.

In these freezing temperature, although I complain loudly when my nose is cold, my nostrils freeze or my feet are wet from snow melting in my shoes, there are still things I love.

Crunching ice beneath my feet. White eye lashes from frozen breath. How bright everything is, even at night. How sidewalks and streets stop existing and people just drive and walk where they think the division is and when things melt you find that everyone was off by a couple feet.

I am looking forward to our (Chantelle, Erin and I) annual photo session at the Legislative Grounds. It started two years ago on an extremely cold night in January, I believe, where we were bored and decided a trip to the grounds for some photos in the -35 C weather seemed like a reasonable thing to do. Despite the cold temperatures, we had so much fun and have decided to pick what we deem the coldest night to do it every year. There's something appealing about making traditions of your own, not just with family, but with friends and continuing them.

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