Baby it’s cold outside

The good news is, we didn’t get the big storm Edmonton did a couple of days ago, even though they said we would and everyone was talking like the apocalypse was coming. It’s snow, people. Yes, it’s the first snow, but it’s going to happen a lot more this winter. The bad news is, like I said, it’s coming. At least once this winter I know I will have to take on snowbanks to get from point A to point B (I drive a pretty small car).

The thing I can’t get over is how cold it is. Moving six hours north across the province actually has a pretty drastic effect on the temperature. My mom has the weather app on her smartphone with both Calgary and Lloyd temperatures saved, and she loves to text me the difference. I woke up on March 1 to a text from her: “Happy first of March!” I texted her back: “It’s minus 44 and clearly not happy anything.”

I know we’ve been pretty lucky so far — we don’t have a lot of snow, and it’s actually been pretty warm for this time of year. Until this week, at least, when the mercury plummeted past -20 and has settled there.

It’s the windchill that gets you. Really — it’s usually above or around -20, but add in the windchill and suddenly the temperature reads in the -30s or lower. Disheartening, really.

And the wind never stops — there’s nothing to stop it, on the prairie.

Even though we have a couple good hills around here (just asked the guys who did a charity bike fundraiser from Ardrossan to Lloyd — they realized how bad the hills around Kitscoty are) it’s nothing like southern Alberta. I don’t realize how much I miss the mountains until I see cloud formations on the horizons, and they look like mountains. A friend thinks I’m crazy, but I swear, sometimes the clouds just sit in a way on the horizon, all grey-blue, and if you look at it in the right way, it looks like mountain silhouettes. I always mean to take a picture, but I don’t know how well my iPhone would do with that distance. And using my SLR just seems like too much hassle for something like that.

I was talking to someone who grew up in the middle of Saskatchewan, and she made the comment that the mountains make her feel closed in, like they’re blocking out the sky. I thought it was an interesting comment for sure, I’ve never felt that way about mountains. And they bring chinooks, which, heading into my second winter on the prairies, I really, really miss.

Speaking of mountains, this year I’m determined to go skating sometime this winter, since there’s not really anywhere to go snowboarding around here. (There’s one place south of here actually, called Mount Joy, but when you grow up in the Rockies, ski hills in Saskatchewan leave a lot to be desired. Just saying.) The problem, however, is all of the above. Usually it’s too cold to be outside for more than the time it takes you to make a mad dash to your car, and by the time it warms up enough to actually be outside, the ice is melting.

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