Monday 22 September 2014

A Warm Comfortable Nest

Yep…another day of beautiful fall weather.

Someone remind me of today when I am whining about how cold it is in February. It won’t stop the whining, but perhaps the memory of days like today will get me through the rest of the long and miserable winter.

You might be asking yourself, or me, Ken, if you don’t like winter then why on earth do you live in Canada. Yes, that is a valid point and there are more than a few reasons. I suppose the first and perhaps the base reason is that when my ancestors were tossed out from one of the good countries, they were stupid enough to pick Canada as their destination. Why? Who knows what was rattling around in that tiny little skull, probably the promise of free land? I guess the idea that if something sounds too good to be true, then more than likely it is hadn’t been invented yet.

Once here they would have fast found out that life as they knew it was pretty much over. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when that long dead ancestor experienced his first deep, cold winter day. They thought that hell was a burning inferno, but there are many different hells, one for each and every one of us. He was stuck here and would soon get used to the seasons, three out of four ain’t bad.

Fast forward to me, because everyone in between was too busy living their lives or fighting wars to think about leaving. Actually, the wars in other countries were a very good incentive to stay here. No one has wanted Canada badly enough to fight for it over the centuries. Well, perhaps the US, but once we kicked them out, we became the best of friends. Things may change in the near future, it seems that we have an abundance of raw materials and don’t want to give them up without proper payment.

Back to me, I actually loved winter for most of my life. When I was a kid, snow and cold were fantastic playmates. Snow was a material that you could make into forts or weapons; you could dig in it and slide on it. Did I mention that you could also eat it? Just stay clear of the yellow snow. Canada is very big into hockey and therefore, we had ice rinks all over the place that we could skate on, slide on and yes, even play hockey. If you were lucky, a couple of times a year it would snow so much that you would get a snow day when school was cancelled. School was cancelled and you could play in the snow all day!

Snow didn’t have the same appeal as an adult, but there were fun things to do in the winter. I at various times have cross country skied, downhill skied, snow shoed and of course tobogganed. There was that time in Edmonton when we got smashed and went down the ski hill on a tarp. Only once! I spent the better part of my winter work day walking outside for thirty years. Most days it was literally walking in a winter wonderland, most days.

Maybe it is because I am older and my body likes to be warmer. Maybe I don’t generate the same kind of internal fire that I once did. Maybe sixty years of cold winters is enough for a guy. This is the last winter we will have to stay in Canada because Louise retires after the winter of 2015. We may spend time in one of those southern states that welcome our white Canadian bodies and money. We might spend time on an island in the Pacific. We might just stay home and crank the heat up and watch the grandkids make forts and weapons; and dig and slide in the snow. Winter isn’t that bad if you can look out at it from a warm, comfortable nest that you have spent a lifetime creating.

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