Over the last twenty years, I have become a real northerner.
When I first moved north from Vancouver, I watched the weather channel every day with growing trepidation as October morning temperatures slid into the minus range. When it hit minus 4, I really bundled up for the eight-minute walk to work - leggings under jeans, down-filled jacket, scarf, and mittens. I sprinted to work so as not to freeze to death on the way (that's how it felt).
My colleagues were practically rolling on the floor laughing at me and wondered just what I would do when it was minus 40. Truth be told, I almost couldn't comprehend weather that cold. What would I do?
I took a lot of taxis during my first winter in the north and invested in an extra long, extra downy coat, heavier mittens, woollen scarves, and, something I hadn't worn in winter since childhood - a hat. On the day after Boxing Day, it was minus 44 without windchill! Spring seemed so very far away.
A few days ago, the temperature was minus 33 in the morning (and probably rose to a "balmy" minus 29 later in the day). I still have not completely gotten over the bit of fear that accompanies such low temperatures - what if I become stranded and freeze?
But, it's workable, with cars plugged in overnight and warm clothes. Sometimes, it's this cold, and colder, periodically from November through March. We carry on.
I knew that my transformation to true northerner was complete when the early morning temperature on Thursday was ONLY minus 23. I felt real relief and happiness that it had warmed up!
Today it was minus 7 (with the heavy snow that always accompanies the rising temperature) - no leggings, no heavy coat, no scarf, and no hat. Just relief that it was warm.
How things have changed.
top photo credit - http://www.insidestl.com/Portals/0/ladies/220_Bundled.jpg