First snowfall of the season

Yesterday was the first snowfall of the season: fluffy, white, still above freezing, blanketing the leaves on the ground with a clean carpet.

In Canada, we marvel at the first snowfall of the season while concurrently dreading the bulky winter coats, freezing skin, and never being able to completely warm up that we know is coming. Wintering in Canada requires tough stuff. You have to be able to navigate black ice on the 401 with one hand while holding your Tim Hortons coffee in the other; shovel snow without falling on your keister; and look good in a toque. Last winter, surviving without hydro for up to nine days over the Christmas and holiday season was also a requirement.

My oldest son and I went for a walk last night. He rode his bike and I pushed the baby carriage. If you can overlook the profanity, lack of flushing and random physical violence, 8 ½ year old boys are lovely. Mine was thrilled with the snow, stopping frequently to brush it off ledges and rocks. He threw a snowball at me and gave some snow to his 18 month old sister to hold in her hands. He made trails with his wheels and tested his brakes with snow on the tires. He inhaled the crisp air and used some caution to navigate the hills. It was a beautiful walk.

Cold weather activities make the winter bearable in Canada. Skating on outdoor rinks is a rite of passage for Canadian kids. Sticks on pucks sound better outdoors. Tobogganing down Riverdale Park`s large hill is exhilarating, making the climb back up worth the trouble. Ski resorts welcome the first snowfall and snowshoeing is not uncommon. Personally I like to bundle up and walk in the winter. The key to enjoyment is always ensuring you are warm enough.

I am convinced that Canadians are tougher than those who live in warmer climates. Every winter, we have to survive and even thrive in freezing cold conditions for an extended period of time. In Toronto, snowploughing contracts are entered into for five full months, from November 15th to April 15th. That means we have to expect 150 days of our year to be cold and snowy. Our daily lives don`t stop because of a heavy snowfall. You cannot call in sick to work because it snowed last night. School is not cancelled if there is ice on the ground. And severe storms only slow us down for a few hours until we can restore power.

According to the Farmer`s Almanac, winter temperatures and precipitation in Ontario will both be below normal this winter, meaning it will be colder than normal but with less snow than is usual. Armed with that information, I am going to relish the first glittering snowfall of the season while at the same time retrieving my hats, scarves and gloves in preparation for the 149 days still to come.

Yesterday was the first snowfall of the season: fluffy, white, still above freezing, blanketing the leaves on the ground with a clean carpet.

In Canada, we marvel at the first snowfall of the season while concurrently dreading the bulky winter coats, freezing skin, and never being able to completely warm up that we know is coming. Wintering in Canada requires tough stuff. You have to be able to navigate black ice on the 401 with one hand while holding your Tim Hortons coffee in the other; shovel snow without falling on your keister; and look good in a toque. Last winter, surviving without hydro for up to nine days over the Christmas and holiday season was also a requirement.

My oldest son and I went for a walk last night. He rode his bike and I pushed the baby carriage. If you can overlook the profanity, lack of flushing and random physical violence, 8 ½ year old boys are lovely. Mine was thrilled with the snow, stopping frequently to brush it off ledges and rocks. He threw a snowball at me and gave some snow to his 18 month old sister to hold in her hands. He made trails with his wheels and tested his brakes with snow on the tires. He inhaled the crisp air and used some caution to navigate the hills. It was a beautiful walk.

Cold weather activities make the winter bearable in Canada. Skating on outdoor rinks is a rite of passage for Canadian kids. Sticks on pucks sound better outdoors. Tobogganing down Riverdale Park`s large hill is exhilarating, making the climb back up worth the trouble. Ski resorts welcome the first snowfall and snowshoeing is not uncommon. Personally I like to bundle up and walk in the winter. The key to enjoyment is always ensuring you are warm enough.

I am convinced that Canadians are tougher than those who live in warmer climates. Every winter, we have to survive and even thrive in freezing cold conditions for an extended period of time. In Toronto, snowploughing contracts are entered into for five full months, from November 15th to April 15th. That means we have to expect 150 days of our year to be cold and snowy. Our daily lives don`t stop because of a heavy snowfall. You cannot call in sick to work because it snowed last night. School is not cancelled if there is ice on the ground. And severe storms only slow us down for a few hours until we can restore power.

According to the Farmer`s Almanac, winter temperatures and precipitation in Ontario will both be below normal this winter, meaning it will be colder than normal but with less snow than is usual. Armed with that information, I am going to relish the first glittering snowfall of the season while at the same time retrieving my hats, scarves and gloves in preparation for the 149 days still to come.

#snow #family #activities #waltonfamily #canada #coldweatheractivities

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