I am of the mind that every story is so much better with exaggeration. It keeps your audience on the edge of their seat, wanting more. So, while Vancouver does not look like this...
...the story is soooooo much better if I tell you that I took this picture of my street this morning when I got home from work. Truthfully, I pulled this one off of google images and it's of a street in Montreal - but I totally have your attention now, don't I?
I grew up in Calgary, where temperatures routinely dipped well below -30 (Celsius) sometimes -45 with the windchill in the long winter months. Most school boards have snow days, but in Calgary we had *cold* days where skin froze in less than 30 seconds, they couldn't keep the schools heated, and everyone decided it was too stupid to leave the comfort of your own home. Vehicles were kept running, some over night, with the fear that they wouldn't start in the morning if turned off. Snow would fall on to streets and before you could clear it, more would fall...making the roads a virtual skating rink.
The year before I moved to Vancouver, it snowed every month of the year in Calgary. This included a freak snowstorm in April that crippled the city in less than two hours. Drivers were forced to abandon their cars on the side of the road, and in some cases in the middle of the road as the snow fell. Rescuers wrote *OK* on the car windows, just so everyone knew that there was no one stranded inside the cars. Today Calgary, Alberta, Canada was the second coldest place in.the.world. The South Pole came in first at -36. Calgary was -31.
All this to say that I'm used to cold. I'm used to snow. I lived it for my entire childhood.
When I moved to Vancouver on November 4, 2003, we watched the temperature change from -27 to +9 degrees as we drove out west. The day I arrived, I walked to the store in capris and flip flops. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Initially, I moved to Vancouver for a guy, but we all know how that panned out...now, I tell everyone that I moved here for the weather.
But it's effin' cold out there. Out here. It's minus ten degrees Celsius, -19 with the wind chill. There is snow on the ground that has not melted. And it has been there since Friday night. And I'm not even exaggerating. I'm cold. The house is cold. Houses in Vancouver aren't meant for cold like this. We have towels wrapped around the pipes so they don't freeze. The windows and walls aren't insulated the way they are in Calgary. My car, good ol' lil Rosie, who always gives 150% is having a difficult time starting.
It's a good shove in the arse to get ready for Christmas. Once again, it's beginning to look like the North Pole opened up and puked in my house. There are decorations and lights and garlands everywhere you look. I've even begun my Christmas shopping which is unheard of for me. I'm the one who starts mid-December and not because I'm a procrastinator (although, I am.) It's because I just can't keep a secret. I get so darn excited, I want to give the gifts like right now.
I told Q that I bought one of his presents (a telescope!!!) and he says, "Oh, is it an Air Hockey Rink?!?!?!?" and I'm like...."uhhhh, no...." He laughs and says, "I totally know it is because of the look on your face. I guessed it!!" What look? This look? Oh ya, that's panic. An Air Hockey Rink? What happened to the telescope? Just last week he wanted a telescope.
Guess I should ask for a Christmas List...