DON’T SELL WINTER SHORT
Today I made a snow angel. After shovelling six inches of new snow off the deck, I felt like I needed to celebrate. Thank you, mother nature, for treating the land to a vanilla shake. Our poor dehydrated soil will slurp it down with gratitude.
Winter is my second favourite month after fall. Fall gets first billing because usually the bugs are gone, and it is a great time for campfires and kayaking. But winter brings delights of its own – especially when we get snow.
I have proven, many times over, that if I get out and ‘do it’ regardless of what the weatherman promises in the way of cold, wind, rain or snow, I will have a blast. Oh how I regret the early days when concerns about bears coming out of hibernation, or muddy riverbanks with nowhere to camp kept me from joining an expedition. Conditions never prove as extreme as promised, and ‘the doing’ rewards you with exercise, mental stimulus and joy.
Christmas week we set records on the prairies for coldest temps. Yes, we’re talking -38 and the wind chill fell off the thermometer. It didn’t stop my ON grandchildren (experiencing a prairie winter for the first time) from layering up in my extra winter wear and exploring the unknown. We walked/cartwheeled across the river – a first for them – gorged on hot chocolate and ginger cookies on the other side and came back in high spirits.
This weekend I x-country skied with a friend on Clearwater Lake. There was a miraculous oasis of good snow there we hadn’t seen at the Landing for weeks. From home it looked like a windy day. When I set up the ski date, I hoped the cabins would shelter us enough to make it doable. Yep, you bet, at Clearwater there was no wind. We skied around the perimeter of the lake in sun warmed air. A day later I joined another friend for her first snowshoe, promising her enough snow to make her inaugural attempt a workout. Again, icy mounds covered with a skiff of crusted snow at the Landing, became banks of soft snow inviting another step and another until we’d covered several kilometres around the lake and trekked back to the SUV for a hot soup lunch. Did you guess we were back at it a half hour later? Another great day of healthy living.
I’m considering not waiting for spring to get kayaking. Maybe I can mount a sail on my 14.5 foot Perception and made a run down river on the ice. OR, drag my 1978 Limited edition made in Canada plastic kayak up to the top of the river hills and ride it to the bottom. Oops! Watch out for the rocks.
After two years of Covid keeping me from the slopes, I drove out to BC and did some solo skiing, just to prove I still could balance on two sticks at 40 – 60 kpm still. I want to ski into my 80s or at least until I can ski for free at 75. Now there is a milestone worth obtaining. I’ve invested thousands of dollars in ski hills and want to get some back.
Yes, I’m heading off for some downhill skiing again next week. Who doesn’t like the high obtained racing down a narrow, mogul covered run and discovering you’re still alive at the bottom? Okay, we won’t do that one again.
A glance through my 2021 daily journal shows one other part of the theory “Just do it”. I take part in these activities while experiencing ill health before, after or during. Yet often they are my saving grace. Combatting Crohns and side effects from many surgeries taught me every minute is precious. I climbed out of my sick bed to snowshoe with my daughter. A last memory before she moved to Vancouver. Do the things you love when you can. A side bar to this is that while doing them you are focused on the thrill and saturating your body with happy juice or endorphins, while distracting yourself from the pain and other symptoms. You are richly rewarded with a double win.
Having proven my point to those who have not rushed for warmer climates, shivering dramatically at the thought of a prairie winter, I will sign off and take the nap I deserve. After all, I need to store up energy for my next snowy adventure.