Yay, the cold snap is over. I saw way more people on the streets talking and laughing today than I’ve seen for some time. No more ice fog. Woohoo.

On Thursday, it was -13 C and I saw a couple of girls walking with their jackets wide open.
I told Jean they reminded me of my aunt Matilda and she said, “really?” Yup, I said, one time in the spring we were driving my aunt to a birthday party and it was melting out.

There was still snow on the ground, but the sun was shining and it was around 4 above. We drove past two teenage girls bouncing down the street in runners, tank tops, and ripped jeans. Aunt Matilda said, “Look at them. They can’t wait to strip themselves.” Eschia!

When Jean finally stopped laughing, she said, “Sheesh, I thought you meant those girls looked like your aunt Matilda when she was young.” Mwahahahahahah.

But ya, we sure had a couple of good cold snaps, Cold weather affects us in different ways, sometimes not the way we expect. For instance, when it was -40 before Christmas, everybody thought the ice roads would open sooner.

But I heard on the radio, that work on ice roads was slowed down because it was too cold to run the equipment. Who would have thunk.

Everything slows down when it gets to -40, or even -35. There are less people walking around, riding bikes, and jogging. People tend to stay in more and find things to do indoors like read a book, play games, and get together with friends.

Of course, there are lots of problems with vehicles too. Tires lose pressure and are frozen when we take off. We need to go slowly when we start driving to allow our tires to slowly become round again. Whoa.

A friend told me years ago after I told him I had a flat, “Don’t drive fast right away or you could get a flat, and who wants to change a tire in -40.” Meanwhile I had just changed my tire because I couldn’t afford Roadside Assistance. I said, “Not me! Not me!”

Plug your vehicle in

And there are people who forget to plug in their vehicles. Then, they need to get a boost and often end up hauling their vehicles to the garage to get thawed out, get a new battery, or something worse.

In fact, I recently got four new tires and the Ford lot was so full of frozen vehicles I could hardly drive in.

And look at the RCMP station. I don’t know what happened, but the road was closed for about a month because they were digging up frozen pipes.

On a lighter note, have you ever thrown a glass of boiling water high up into the air when it’s minus 40? We did and videoed the water turning to snow. Jean’s teacher friend in Florida showed it to his students.

The friend taped his students watching our experiment and they were in total awe. He tagged Jean with his video and you can hear the oohs and aahs.

One thing that’s great when it’s really cold, is there’s usually brilliant sunshine, which we need after all the darkness in the last couple of months. I appreciate it because the days are getting longer every day, with the sun coming up earlier and setting later every day. Woohoo.

We’re enjoying how beautiful it is with that glorious sunlight against the trees all frosted up. Jean has been taking so many photos of them.

This one guy told me that he walks to work and it takes him about ten minutes. He said he was all frosted up when it was -40 and he appreciated the difference when it got to -37. He said it seemed so easy walking when it warmed up to -25, and then it got to -17, he said he was sweating when he got to work.

Yes indeed, -25 feels warm after 40 below. We wear lighter jackets, put our hoods down and take off some layers.

When it warms up to 13 below, many people walk around with their jackets wide open. As aunt Matilda would say, “look at them. They can’t wait to strip themselves.”

Roy Erasmus

Roy Erasmus Sr. Is a certified wellness counsellor who survived heart disease and a former member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories.

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