Winter in Saskatchewan…it’s something. Actually, it’s a lot of things. It’s long. It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s icey. There’s a lot to deal with.
This is maybe my eighth winter up here. I finally have just about everything I need: good socks (Darn Tough), a 4X4 with Winter tires (essential, for me), appropriate winter coats (actually, I have three, one puffy that lives in my go bag, a day glow safety coat I bought for working the camps, and a forest green fur coat I got at Goodwill, it’s fabulous) and an assortment of hats, scarves, mits and gloves.
It’s easy to get depressed in the winter. Going out is sometimes unbearable, but you do it anyway. Driving can be kind of sketchy, but you go where you have to go. It can be pretty when it snows, but then you have to shovel. If you’re not outdoors a lot, chances are your body gets low on vitamin D. If you are outdoors a lot, your skin may get chapped or even frost bitten.
But, Winter can feel victorious and invigorating too. Sometimes, stepping out into the cold can feel energizing. Winter hiking can be peaceful. Sound is deadend by the snow except for the crunching beneath your boots or snow shoes. Conquering the cold around a fire while camping or even in the back yard is empowering in a way I never expected.
Surviving winter is a reminder that we can plan, we can be responsible, we can adapt, we can endure. I often wonder why anyone lives here, especially when it’s 30 below. It’s a sentiment I’ve heard from others, both here and from friends in warmer climates. Maybe it’s for bragging rights.
The weather this week will be relatively warm with an expected low of -15C (5F) tonight, and a high of -6C (21F) on Thursday. It will be a nice respite from the colder than Mars (literally) temperatures we had recently. It will be something to be thankful for, as I’m also thankful for my house, my family, my pets, friends, my advantage, and the opportunities I have.