Northern Intelligence

Let it snow (Please)

Now that we’re on the other side of August, the days are getting a little cooler. This week, I’ve worn a sweater or jacket to work everyday.

And can I just say, it’s about time?

When we lived down south, I loved summer. Watching the fireworks, nights spent crowded around the campfires, and going over to our neighbour’s house to hijack their pool. Some of my best memories are of spending summers with my family in Nova Scotia. But ever since we moved up North, my love of summer has waned. I don’t know if it’s because of my love for the Northern Lights, or the fact that I took up knitting as a hobby, but I’m kind of over summer. It seems like everything I love about summer just doesn’t work here.

For starters, I totally got screwed over on fireworks. This past Canada Day, I kept getting texts and emails from family members and friends, asking me if I was going to fireworks. Um, hi? We get twenty hours of sunlight daily in the North during the summer. There are no fireworks on Canada Day. When it is dark enough to have them, no one in their right mind would go outside to watch them.

Which, coincidentally, ruins campfires for me too. The whole point of having a campfire is to sit around it, with your friends, in the dark. I don’t know why, but a roaring campfire at midnight, when it’s still bright as day out, just seems pointless to me. How are you supposed to freak each other out with ghost stories if you still have to apply sunblock?

“Oh, but Leslie, what about all the great trails and camping you can do in Yellowknife?”

We obviously haven’t met if you think that argument is going to win me over. The last campsite I voluntarily spent time in had laundry facilities. (You think I’m being a princess? Well, our dog decided to poop in the tent, and then hid it under our clothes. Who was laughing then?) Plus, I have a condition called Skeeter Syndrome (Google it; it’s a real thing) and taking me into the woods here pretty much ensures that my bug bites swell up and bruise so badly, I look like I went a few rounds with Mike Tyson. And no, bug spray does not work. My blood is apparently the nectar of the Mosquito Gods.

Winter is just so much more fun in the North! You get to see the Aurora Borealis! Snowmobiling! A genuine excuse to put Baileys in all your hot drinks! Mittens and hats, and scarves, oh my!

Winter means I get to wear my colored tights and chunky boots. I can wear my adorable teal and empire-waisted sweater that took three months and two attempts to knit to perfection. It means cardigans and turtlenecks and my gorgeous, forest-green hound’s-tooth jacket.

(Plus, Christmas and my birthday both happen during the winter months.)

Obviously, I am all about the hibernation and the hot, sugary drinks. I like curling up on the couch, wrapped in an electric blanket, clutching a warm mug of pumpkin spice tea, and reading a good book. I like freezing my butt off while sitting on the back of our snowmobile, tearing across a frozen lake before we stop to go ice fishing and have hot coffee. (Breaking down on the frozen lake? Less fun.) I love having to don warm, woolly articles of clothing to get my mail. And I love standing in my backyard with a hot apple cider, watching the skies, literally dancing overhead.
Fortunately, in this city, I don’t have much longer to wait. Any day now and I guarantee there will be a snowman (albeit, a small one) on my front lawn.

Leslie Dunnett is a military spouse, mother of two puppies, amateur cartoonist, and recovering shoe addict.

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