Is there anyone else that is getting completely annoyed with the media's attempt to terrify us about this season’s cold winter?
If I hear the term “Polar Vortex” one more time during the weather forecast I’m going to lose it! I personally define this so-called chilled-cyclone a good sign that we're having a normal winter. Seriously. This is the best winter we’ve had in the last five years, especially where I live in south-central Ontario.
Last winter, I didn’t cross-country ski once due to the lack of snow, and the year before that I stayed clear of the frozen lakes in fear of breaking through. This season, however, I’ve been out frolicking in the snow more days than I can remember. On an almost nightly basis my daughter and I go sledding or skating on the local pond. I’ve even gone winter camping half-a-dozen times so far. Usually the conditions don’t allow me to go out until February or March.
During all that, the school buses have been cancelled, garbage wasn’t picked up, the mail delivery was scrapped and my daughter has had in-door recess most of January, all due to severe cold — and yet the coldest it got here was -22 degrees Celsius. On my last winter camping trip it reached -28, but I was never cold. Common activities like chopping wood, hauling a hefty freight toboggan and drilling a hole through the ice for water kept me warm. I’m also dressed for it. I layer my clothes and wear lots of wool. I don’t wear blue jeans and cotton sweatshirts. Canadian winter fashion is something we should be proud of, not embarrassed about.
Enjoying winter is a Canadian thing. That’s exactly the answer I gave on a radio interview just before my last cold trek, which happened to be during the last proclaimed Polar Vortex. The host couldn’t believe I was heading out in the cold and she asked me to convince her that it was an enjoyable activity. My response was quick and to the point. I told her I was Canadian. I told her that it was part of my culture to go play out in the snow. I also like eating bacon, putting maple syrup on my pancakes, watching hockey and drinking beer. What I definitely don’t like is to hibernate all winter because the media is making me terrified to go outside.
I’m not sure she appreciated my response, especially because she had to read off the weather report right after my interview. It was typical, full of doom and gloom, made up of wind chill warnings, unseasonal temperatures, extreme cold alerts and the dreaded Polar Vortex prophecy. I thanked the host for her time — which is also a Canadian thing — grabbed my wool toque and walked out of the station to go play out in the snow.