Ice sure is a wonderful seasonal joy

A friend of mine from Dawson City recently sent me a joke with the headline, “You must be from Nova Scotia if you shovel snow in the rain.”
That’s true, more often than not.
But I’m not from Nova Scotia. I’m from Northwestern Ontario, where you have to be hardy and not afraid to pile on the clothes to withstand a polar vortex. It’s not a climate in which to worry about fashion.
I may live in Nova Scotia now but I am from Fort Frances, and I check the Fort Frances weather in the morning first thing before I see what I will be dealing with here in Nova Scotia. That’s just how it is.
In my mind, I still live on Wilson Road on the Rainy River, where Crozier and Roddick collide, and I think of that busy river, always in a hurry to get where it’s going. I still can run across the field to Annie and curl up on her lap when life is perplexing. That will never change.
I like the cold, not long spells of it and not when it comes with blinding wind, but I like the idea of cold killing off germs and hazardous insects. We are lucky to have changing seasons.
It might be easy to say I like the cold when the coldest it has been here so far this winter is minus-12 C. I’d be a bit of sissy if I called that cold when I see what Fort Frances has been dealing with.
The good news is you burn more calories keeping warm when the temperature plummets and our bodies have less inflammation. There is a reason we put ice on sports injuries and I personally can vouch for that statement as almost every February, the occurrence of nasty headaches for me is drastically reduced.
I don’t think we’d be bothered by the cold so much if we dressed for it; if putting on our ski pants was the norm of our dress code and substantial winter boots and hefty hats and mitts.
I was boasting the benefits of winter to a neighbour who flees Nova Scotia for Florida every February and March. I was telling him the health benefits of the cold temperatures and he said the health benefits of not getting run over by a snowplow are significantly greater–and he has yet to see a single snowplow while he is in Florida.
He may have a point.
All my snow has gone. Mother Nature is confused. She may not be getting adequate rest. But with the recent rain, patches of ice are scattered here and there. Last Thursday morning as I walked “Gracie,” the going was treacherous and slippery.
I was going to grumble until I came upon a lovely wee temporary skating pond at the top of my hill. And for 10 minutes or so, I glided back and forth across the ice on my boots, though I felt like a world-class figure skater, spinning and jumping and doing my version of a double Lutz and a triple Salchow.
It was exhilarating and, better yet, I didn’t fall and break a hip. I was transported back to childhood, lugging my skates around our fields, searching for low spots with a patch of ice where I would skate round and round and round until I was dizzy, falling into the snow breathless and happy.
No amount of other seasonal joy can top that.