It’s A Mean -40

It is the dead of winter here in Canada, the second coldest country in the world.  There has been bitterly cold weather in many parts of the country.  While we don’t live in the coldest part of the country, we’ve had “unseasonably” cold temperatures this past while.  

The past few days the temperature, including windchill, has been hovering around -40 C. People are being cautioned to dress properly, to be careful when driving and not to travel when bad storms are forecast.  

The days are short. It gets dark so early.  You come down with “cabin fever” from staying inside for days. Cars won’t start.  Some people have had their water pipes freeze in their homes and have tried to unthaw them using an open flame.   They have used a blowtorch, for example.  And then the fire department comes to call as you’ve started a house fire.  (I don’t know this from experience, I am only repeating what I heard on the radio.  I wouldn’t attempt to unthaw frozen pipes.  Although once I did try attempt a temporary plumbing fix ones using balloons and duct tape.  It ended badly).  There are still 936 hockey game left in the NHL season. There’s a storm forecast for a few days from now bringing 15 cm of snow, they say.  Friends are leaving for Florida and Hawaii and other warm places.  And this morning it was a mean -40C.  

Still, there are hints this won’t last forever.  The temperature is supposed to moderate starting tomorrow.  My gardening partner and I have started to plan our garden for the coming season.  Seed catalogues should arrive soon.    I watched some golf on television today and they talked about how the players are looking pretty sharp for the beginning of the golf season.  The beginning!  And we have dairy products in our fridge that have a best before date of March 13th.  I bet it won’t be a mean -40 outside then!

Do you have words of comfort and wisdom about coping with the dead of winter? Got any advice for a friend of mine who has cabin fever?  It’s not me.  Really.


6 thoughts on “It’s A Mean -40

  1. As one who has stayed in their yard, never left the house, or even hung around the door very much for the last 12 days, I understand the term CABIN FEVER to the nth degree. Things to do during this time of quiet and unmarred tranquility not unlike the fresh smoothness of newly fallen snow on a Canadian January day you query? Read a Pullitzer Prize winning book. Play crib. Play dominoes. Play gin. Drink gin. Time and snow will fly. The sun will shine. The earth will warm and we all will soon be slapping mosquitoes before one can say, “Where is the Off?”

    1. Imagine what it’s like on the prairies now. They are forecasting temperatures including windchill of -40 to -55. There’s some controversy about the reporting of windchill and Environment Canada’s plan to incorporate it as a single reading in the future. No matter what is reported we’ll know it’s cold when our nostrils stick together.

  2. Enjoy your cold weather. It is good for your garden, for all sorts of bad bugs and such that don’t survive it. I miss winter. It has been 0 to +1 since we got back from Siberia, no snow, no sun. I could be living in Vancouver. Bleah. Even in Siberia we only had one day of winter with snow, hoar frost and -15, then it warmed up and most of the snow melted. They have winter now finally.
    I have cabin fever too. No car and nowhere to go anyhow. Tanya has ordered a bunch of bulbs for spring; enough to get 30 free gladiola bulbs as a good customer. Happy New Year to Sheas. Miss you guys something fierce.

    1. Yes you are right. Thank you for the advice and pep talk. I was out yesterday and happy to be in the fresh air. It wasn’t very cold and it was wintery with snow hanging on branches and such. We are expecting freezing rain tonight. We miss you too.

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