I even stepped out on our deck today and took a picture of our partially cloudy weather. Then it occurred to me that I was outside with no coat and no shoes.
How can you think about Canadian winter without a coat and no shoes?
When we lived in New Brunswick, our old farm house was one of those with a number of buildings attached including a woodshed, carriage house, outhouse, and chicken coop.
We used the carriage house for storage, treated the outhouse as a historical monument, and the chicken coop as my shop. We really did use the woodshed. Each year we would put in about four cords of hardwood mill ends.
We had a very efficient wood heater which kept us very warm but required a short trip outside across a few feet of porch to reach the wood shed. I can remember days cold enough that you put on boots to make that short journey to the unheated woodshed. You rarely crossed those few feet without a coat.
The experience of living along the southern coast just does not lend itself to Canadian comparisons. We hardly ever wear coats. Even in January the sun is strong enough to warm things significantly. I actually will go in bare feet to retrieve something from our unheated garage.
I remember well when in 1984 we moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia from central New Brunswick where we saw temperatures as low as minus forty degrees. We got to Halifax and found that people mostly wore tennis shoes during the winter.
Not wearing boots was so foreign to us that it took a while to adjust. People did not plug in their cars in January, and you could run outside without a coat.
Of course Halifax has not enjoyed one of those mild maritime winters this year. I watched with interest their latest blizzard. When we recently visited our mountain home in Roanoke, Virginia, we got a taste of weather that could bring back Canadian memories.
It was a cold morning in Roanoke with the temperature down to ten degrees Fahrenheit, and winds gusting to forty miles per hours.
It is nice to have escaped back to the coast. Even in the few minutes that it has taken me to write this post, the temperature has risen a degree to sixty-seven degrees Fahrenheit. We just might make it to seventy again today like we did yesterday. That would be two days over seventy in the first six days of the new year.
That is a winter that can make me forget Canada's cold and remember the best parts of our years there.