In Deep Freeze

It’s not just the blog that is in deep freeze.  This was how the weather here looked the other day:

accuweather_2013-05-12_212010

Frustrating at so many levels.  This is not unprecedented cold, mind you, just too cold for early December.  We do get this kind of weather in mid-January and February.  But to start winter with this much cold is not fun.

No, I do not live in Canada (in case you are wondering) or Alaska.  It was actually quite a shock to visit Alaska and find that parts of the state are much, much warmer in the winter than our upper Midwest.  Take Juneau, the capital – the temperatures there rarely go below zero celsius. Look at how Juneau looks like this month – although, okay, it does snow a lot.  They probably need snow throwers more than refrigerators over there.

I don’t mind snow as much – it is easy enough to clear, and at worst, it results in slushy sidewalks.  Here, it is so cold that the roads are icy  (far more treacherous for vehicles), the winds are blustery, and the only good thing, as you’ll notice – it is sunny.  Until she experienced it firsthand, my mother could never bring herself to believe that  it could be so cold and yet simultaneously bright and sunny.

Not only does the sun deign to only dispense light and not heat, it also does not believe in working for too many hours a day in winter.  The days will get shorter and shorter until December 21st, until dusk falls around 3:30 pm and does that get depressing. In summer, it is light until 9:30 pm.  Quite a contrast.  I never believed all those geography (?) lessons about how the days are long in summer and short in winter – at best, dusk would fall an hour earlier in the winter.

It’s hard enough for us adults to get used to the short days.  But here is what happens – some time around 5:30 pm, S will look up from whatever she is playing with, and look out of the window.  Outside, it would be pitch dark and the moon would be shining.

“Sun Off !  Night !” she will declare and then “Up the Stairs” (to sleep).  Now try explaining that it not exactly night yet, to a toddler. All the while, part of me too wishes I could sleep away this winter.

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7 Comments

  1. I never understood what those geography lessons were about in school, the tilting of the earth’s axis and the short winter days and long summer nights, until I moved to this part of the world. And then I had a very rapid education on exactly what those lessons meant! It is so hard to remain productive once the sun goes down although there are many hours to go before bedtime. I feel we humans should be allowed to hibernate and emerge rested and awake once the summer months are upon us.

    • Hibernation sounds extremely attractive to me right now! All I want to do after the sun goes down is to snuggle under a blanket, drink cupfuls of hot tea and read a book. I don’t manage all three at the same time, but I am reading a lot more books these days.

  2. at 20 c, we bury ourselves under a pile of winter wear in my town. so, at -18 c, we probably would have set ourselves on fire. anyway, stay warm, stay safe and keep blogging. love your blog!

    • It helps a lot that homes have central heating, that cars, malls, offices etc are all heated. You don’t have to stay out in the cold for more than a few minutes. But even those few minutes can be really uncomfortable at -18 C :(

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