Well, it looks like Old Man Winter is back in town. Skiers, cross- country skiers and snowboarders are madly in love with Winter. Rational, wealthy people hate winter so much they leave the country whenever he comes to visit.
Rational, poor people hate Winter, too but they just have to hide indoors for 5 or 6 months until he leaves. While this is certainly a viable option, I think it’s also a mistake.
We tend to fear and dislike the unfamiliar so maybe if we get to know Winter on a more intimate basis, he won’t seem so horrible. Because I’ve heard he intends to come back pretty much every year.
Yes, I know Winter is grouchy and cold and miserable with a raw, biting wit that’s hard to take, but do we really make an effort to meet him half way?
For instance, Winter likes a well-turned out person. He hates and torments people who hobble along in sneakers or stiletto boots, in thin jackets without mittens or hats. I think you’ll find he’s a bit friendlier if you approach him with a fetching pair of warm, water-resistant boots with good sturdy soles; a good warm coat, mitts, a hat, a long colourful scarf and perhaps even a pair of warm snow pants for blizzardy days. Oh, you might not think you look so good in such a get-up, but Old Man Winter will virtually melt when he gets a load of you all bundled up like that.
Next, how about getting out there to try to really break through Winter’s brittle crust? You never know, there might be a playful softie underneath. Go for a walk with him once a day — half an hour will do it – get acquainted; get your blood moving.
- Or, buy the whole family a pair of those new aluminum snow shoes and spend one afternoon a week frolicking with Winter until your thighs burn.
- Winter also loves a skater. Is there anything more bracing than skating outdoors? At night, under the lights, with music and a hot toddy waiting? There is no shortage of outdoor skating in Ottawa. Toronto has Nathan Phillips Square and tons of other rinks in the districts. Montreal has the Bonsecours Basin and other smaller rinks. If you live somewhere Winter visits, I’m sure you have outdoor rinks, too. Or make one in your back yard – invite the neighbours. Have plenty of fortifying beverages on hand.
- Go sledding or tobogganing.
- Get creative and make an igloo or snow sculptures in your front yard that people will take pictures of. Snow benches or snow chairs are especially fun because people will come by and sit on them and you’ll make new friends. Offer fortifying beverages.
- Have a picnic at a park or campground with firepits and roast wienies and marshmallows.
- Make friends with someone with an outdoor hot-tub. Again, fortifying beverages will enhance the experience, as they will most, if not all, winter experiences.
- Go take pictures of wildlife in the local parks – they’re all big and fluffy this time of year. (But don’t feed them, especially not with bread or they’ll get bloated and die and ruin your photographs).
- Go shovel snow for old people. Do it for free. Refuse any offers of money or treats. They’ll be suspicious, but just tell them to suck it up.
By now everyone reading this who lives somewhere Winter doesn’t visit, is pea green with envy at all the fun they’re missing.
I don’t love winter, but we get along okay. I give him a bit of quality time every day and it seems to do the trick.
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