Monday, December 15, 2008

Can you spell C-O-L-D?

When people think of the Canadian Prairies in the winter they think -40 degree cold. We are in one of those cold snaps now. The current temperature is -29 degrees C (-20.2 F) with a wind chill making it feel like -39 C (-38.2 F). Here is the forecast right from my TV screen about an hour ago.

You know it's cold when....

the house cracks and groans as it dries out and shifts from any humidity in the vicinity becoming freeze-dried.

there are no puddles from melting snow on the boot tray by the back door. The snow is so dry that it doesn't cling to the boots.

when the dogs run out of time to do their business outside because their feet get too cold to stand on them.

when cars let out a sorry whine before totally failing to start.

when, if your car does start, it feels like you're driving on square tires until the friction of movement starts to thaw them a bit.

when you will wait hours for a cab or a tow truck because everyone's cars are cranky in the cold.

when rural schools close because the buses aren't running.

when city schools run anyway because they never close no matter the weather.

when you have to dress your children and yourself like the Michelin Man because exposed skin will freeze in minutes.

when poor elementary school teachers face days of squirrel-y children because recesses are cancelled and the kids can't burn off any energy. Feel especially sorry for teachers this week because the kids are also wound up in anticipation of Christmas and tired after Christmas concerts. I don't miss my classroom on weeks like this.

when sunshine is deceptive. Usually there are tiny rainbows in the air when it's this cold. We call them sundogs. They only occur when it's really, really cold. Cloud actually helps blanket the earth so clear weather is usually colder.

when there are great puffs of ice fog in the air from chimneys. This picture was also snagged from the TV at noon. It's a pic of the Legislative Buildings from the skycam downtown.

when there's small part of you that's happy that the cold weather is killing parasites that could cause your pets grief. One year it seemed that the vets were overbooked with dogs and cats with parasite problems in the spring and summer. My vet friend Jo-Ann explained that the unusually mild winter hadn't killed them off as usual.

when I'm knitting like mad to finish off the sheltie/wool scarf so that it can keep me warm when I'm outside with the dogs.


Aunt Kathy said...

Oh man... that's COLD. We hit a heat wave today, it was 35 degrees wen I left this morning for the pool. I was so excited I didn't even wear a coat.

Lovs2Knit said...

We've been having the same kind of weather here too. The snow is so dry it's more like walking on a gigantic ice cube.

Mokihana said...

Oh my gosh that's cold!!! I thought I was cold here in Oregon at 18!! The snow is really dry here, too, with ice.

Jody said...

We in Ontario had that cold over a week ago and sent it to you. Ahh...the Great White North...Brrrr. Don't cha just luv it when your nostrils stick together.

My Qi and Me said...

Dear Susan,

Now I know why Grandpa Copan said the prairies were a good place to come from....
Not that it is all that much warmer here in the Shuswap. Our outdoor thermometer was at -22 this morning but warmed up to a balmy -17 by mid-day.
We travelled nervously today. Happy to be back home after a day in the bitter cold.