Tuesday, February 8, 2011

So cold it hurts

I'm not used to this kind of thing anymore. I woke up today to the chilling reminder that, even though we've been having a record-breaking winter in New York this year, Canada is colder. I spend a lot of time convincing New Yorkers that where I come from the weather is exactly the same as in New York. It's murderously hot in the summer, and not all that cold in the winter. The last few years especially, I assure them, have been very mild. But it seems that distance and my mid-thirties memory have teamed up against me on this one. At midday it has now warmed considerably to a balmy -12C and I doubt very much it will climb much higher.

Undaunted by numbers, confident in the insualting powers of down and wool, I spent a good twenty minutes preparing myself and my ornery, generally uncooperative toddler with surprising leg strength for the elements. Leg warmers, sweaters, hats, snowsuits with built-in mittens, snaps, zippers, hoods...the works. Then three generations of Canadian-bred women waddled together down the hall and out to the mounds of snow that awaited us just outside. It took about six seconds for me to realize that, though my limbs and torso were sufficiently buffeted against the cold, my face was never going to make it. And it wasn't only me. I believe E's words were: "Ack! My face!" It has been years since I considered the benefits of a balaclava. Do they come in pink? Because if I'm ever going to leave the warm sanctuary that is a heated building before May, it won't be without a mask of some kind, and I had better be able to order it online.

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