Enjoy Winter to the Fullest

Do Something, Flavour Of The Month | January 10 2015

When coming up with the theme for the month, I was actually thinking about my granddaughter watching the movie Frozen and also thought that there would be so many possibilities and ways to write about this topic. Since the movie came out, I have seen a multitude of children either wearing licensed product or singing the song. I even had a photo shoot before Christmas where a 2 and 4 year old were dressed up as the characters from the movie.  They would not become animated for their session until I downloaded and played the theme song from the movie.
I think ‘frozen’ is embedded into my very being – I do not handle heat very well. When I was in the military I had issues with the work we did in hot climates but thrived during winter warfare exercises. I have been as far north as Inuvik and Tuktoyuktuk, have canoed in the Beaufort Sea, and have been out side during -40°C with a wind chill of -90°C. Now that was a little cold.
Reading my brother’s Adrenaline Fix article brought back memories of the cold at Slave Lake, driving in the winter, making sure that you had a winter kit with you. My dad, being ex-military himself, was always talking about being prepared for any emergency, so with him in mind I’m going to give you a list of things you should have when you are travelling in the winter. Let’s start with the basics: a small first aid kit, a shovel, jumper cables, a blanket and a bag of kitty litter for traction. My mom always threw in water bottles and granola bars. If you want to go extreme, you can also add road flares, a tow rope, maps or a GPS, flashlight, whistle, camping candles and a fire extinguisher. I know that a few of the stores in the Cariboo actually sell the kits complete and it would make a wonderful gift for anyone who does any driving in the winter. I remember being up north at the scene of an accident in the middle of a blizzard when the road  flare I lit couldn’t be seen thirty feet away.
I think my heritage accounts for my dislike of the heat. I’m a half breed – half Scottish and half Swedish – so my ancestors have always lived in the colder climates. I’m not sure how much validity that holds though, as my mother retired in Nevada and my father in Arizona for a while, although he did come back to Canada as far as Victoria. Part of the reason that I’ve lived in the Cariboo for over 25 years is that weather-wise, for me it’s perfect. It’s not too hot in the summer
and contrary to what my wife thinks, it’s not too cold in the winter.
If I could change anything about the weather, it would be to knock the year down to two abrupt seasons. Summer would be a nice 25-30 degrees; good for riding the motorcycle, camping and golfing. The second season would be winter with a constant temperature of -5 degrees, snow enough to ski, but not enough to cause accidents or problems driving. The in-between seasons where I end up waiting for something to happen always seem to be way too long. I would like overnight for warm weather to become frozen, and then frozen weather to become warm. I find that life is way too short to not live every day to its fullest, and it’s sad for me to see people hibernate during the winter months, waiting for spring. There are way too many things to do in the Cariboo in the winter to not take advantage of them. We have skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, sledding, cross country skiing, and hockey just to name a few. My advice is to put on an extra sweater, a toque,and a scarf, and get out and enjoy a season that takes up almost half our year. Until next month, have fun in our frozen north, and stay  warm and safe.

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