Midwinter

Attila is busy with snow removal in the driveway this morning. He has a bit of job to do before he can leave for work. I am working for a few hours every day this week, so I need to get my car out of the driveway as well. Although it is warmer this morning, the wind chill is significant, -28C. I will need to bundle up for my short drive in to work! Attila will have a challenging day working outside today.

I met a young woman today who has been living without a central heating system for weeks. She lives in a workshop, which was very well heated by an outdoor wood furnace. The pipes burst. She is switching to a propane furnace, and has been waiting for the fuel supply to be delivered. In the meantime she has been using one small wood stove for heat, and spends her time indoors close beside it! She is a cheerful soul!

It was warm enough in the house this morning to risk a shower, so I took advantage of the good interior conditions to do so. I have to make sure my hair is dry before I leave for work though, because with wind chill reading -28C, a wet head is a disaster.

I must consciously turn my focus to our Sunday celebration of Midwinter. We will remove the Christmas decorations from the tree, and build a bonfire with it, to celebrate the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. We have decided on homemade pizza for the celebration, provided we have hydro. If we do not, then I am thinking that grilled cheese sandwiches over the bonfire might work out well. With the Christmas decorations stored away, the living area will seem stark, so we will spend time moving things around and attempting to add cheer to the second half of the winter weather season.

The down side of a birthday cake is that one feels compelled to eat all of it. It will not sit quietly in the kitchen, it certainly doesn’t know its place. It calls my name, insistently. Attila and I retaliated today, with aggression. That cake is gone, consumed, never to intrude on our peace of mind again!

We are enjoying leftover turkey for our dinners this week, which is not only delicious, it is quick!

Attila, after working out of doors all day and toting wood for three firings after arriving home from work, finally found spare time to shovel out the driveway, which was deep in snow, and deeper still where the plough this morning created a small mountain at the end of the driveway. He made short work of it and by 10:30 p.m. the drive was in good order. But, he said when he came in, it is snowing heavily again, so there will be more shovelling required tomorrow morning.

Many people around here ascribe to a hearty “winter doesn’t bother me” attitude. This year, for the first time since we have lived here, a significant number of the local “hearty souls” are looking and sounding bedraggled, some so much so that they now boldly state that they hate winter!

Only two more months! I hope.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

WIND CHILL WARNING IN EFFECT
SNOW SQUALL WARNING IN EFFECT
-19°C
Date: 10:00 PM EST Monday 27 January 2014
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Visibility: 2 km
Temperature: -19.4°C
Dewpoint: -21.6°C
Humidity: 83%
Wind: SSW 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -26

Quote

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
Nelson Mandela
1918-2013

6 comments to Midwinter

  • After years of being a grump about winter, I’ve now become someone who (for the most part) doesn’t get bothered by it. By that’s because I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a small house with elec heat, and because I have Asian students, I have to keep the house fairly warm. I also have an automatic car starter & a car sea warmer which takes the edge off driving to work. And the best thing of all because I’m not allowed to shovel myself, I’ve found a local man who comes without being summoned and shovels my driveway. So, after a busy week with kids and 2 jobs, part of my weekend can be spent in snuggling under the throw on the couch with a good book or watching cooking shows on TV. But believe me, I lived in an old drafty house for years and froze my butt off; so I feel your pain …. and count my blessings.

  • As you so aptly describe Sandy, adaptation is the key to living comfortably with winter!

  • Your snow stories are just fascinating to me. I guess it’s because I haven’t lived in snow country for years, and when I did it wasn’t nearly as cold and wintry as you describe; so, for me, the heavy winter has an exotic appeal about it. I’m sure that living in it is much different than merely reading about it.

  • I think you are correct Tom, the real life experience is not quite as ideal as one would hope! My biggest problem with it is restricted mobility, being unable to get about safely. It would be a great vacation getaway though, spending time with people you love to be with, with no pressure to travel to work, or to manually provide your own heat, or to remove the snow!

  • hil

    I, too, am feeling the cold this winter. I am in an old house in Pennsylvania, heated by oil stoves. The indicator on the oil tank doesn’t work, so I’ve started waking up in the middle of the night, worrying about being out of oil. Not that it would be a catastrophe. We keep kerosene in case of emergency. Winters are not usually so cold here, but I prefer sunny with bright snow on the ground, to the drippy, warmer, grey winters that are the norm here.

  • Keep warm Hil! I prefer sunny days too, even though they usually indicate arctic temperatures.

    Old houses have so much character, and often that means they are draughty! I grew up in a farmhouse that wasn’t so old really, but it was built by the farmer himself, who cut every corner known to man! He decided insulation was a waste of time and money, as were storm windows. I can remember my mother coming into our bedroom during the night of a winter storm, and dumping the dirty clothes from the laundry basket onto us, to try and keep us warm! In the morning there was a dusting of snow on the bedroom floor, which had blown in through the loose fitting bedroom window. The good old days, LOL!

    My Mom calls this winter an old fashioned winter, so I wonder if this cold is going to be a pattern in the years to come!