How would you define cold?

Forget the thermostat, it's cold when your bones tell you it is.

I’ve lived in towns where I had to take pictures outside in -43 C temperatures, fingers frozen to what was then a metal-body camera. I’ve watched cars slide sideways down sleet and snow covered streets in downtown Halifax. Heck, I grew up in a part of the country where Hwy 401 (which locals call “The 401”) was a four-lane divided skating rink connecting all points between Windsor and Toronto.

I commented to Tool Man as we arrived at this year’s frosty Remembrance Day services that we’ve attended services in much colder parts of Canada, so why were we complaining?

I guess cold is one of those relative concepts. My oldest brother and I are both heat-lovers. We relished those weeks of 40-plus temperatures back in Windsor. He moved to Mexico some years back to enjoy the year-round heat and was bitterly disappointed to discover that even Mexico has “winter” – a drop in temperature and a fair amount of rain. Not to mention the occasional hurricane,

I’m not a winter person. Have I mentioned this before? It was all right when I was a kid, even though winters in Windsor were wet and slushy and the snow weighed 10 pounds per square inch if you were shovelling it. (And we kids shovelled a lot of snow!)

Weather sure plays a big part in our lives. It shapes us, defines us.

There’s no doubt that snow and ice are a big part of how the rest of the world sees Canada. While other countries may be known for their soccer, football, rugby, cricket, baseball, etc., Canada has its hockey, figure skating, skiing and other winter sports.

We recognize that winters have their usefulness. It gives our agricultural land a rest. It gives the tire companies more money as we rush to get our winter set.

And, strangely enough, it gets people out of their homes and out to community events. The worse the weather is, the more claustrophobic we feel. So it’s a good thing we have so many community events planned for December.

Now we just have to work on January.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

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