My first winter experience
My first winter experience, in fact, my first week in Canada had me experiencing a bunch of firsts like learning a new winter sport, driving in a snowstorm and generally marvelling at the very cold temperatures and dodging knee-deep snow banks.
That was me over 30 years ago, a complete newbie to true winter living. Off to see the world, I emigrated from a warm country (Australia!). Arriving in a cold climate country with lots of snow was a great big adventure to experience - up, down and sideways!
Here's how my first week in winter unfolded....
My first winter experience...arriving
Bright spark that I am, I arrived just before Christmas so there was lots of snow on the ground already. It was -15 Celsius temperature on the day I landed in Toronto!
Why did I think this was a good idea? mmmmm.... Luckily, my sister (who had arrived several years before) brought a warm jacket, a hat, gloves and a scarf for me to wear when I arrived.
Boy, oh boy, my first introduction to a Canadian winter, what a shocker it was!
My first experience...skiing
My first week here, in fact the first 5 out of 7 days, I spent learning how to downhill ski. Actually, I spent most of the time falling over, getting up, and then falling over again and again!
The rare moments I was upright I eventually learned the basics of how to ski the baby slopes that first year. What I remember the most is that I did a lot of face plants in the snow, getting snow where it didn't belong and losing one or both skis each time and not anywhere near where I fell!
I had only seen snow once before on a day trip to the Australian Alps (yes, there is snow there in winter during July and August). All very novel at the time but arriving here in North America took on a whole different perspective.
Yikes! The winter lasts months and months! I had better learn what to do, how to do it and when to do it since this was now my 'home'.
My first winter experience...driving
Like how to drive in winter conditions for example. I drove during the first week I was here up north to a ski resort during a snowstorm while my brother-in-law napped in the back seat. The snow was blowing horizontally! Cool! NOT!!
As the saying goes, "ignorance is bliss" so this didn't worry me unduly - I didn't know any better to be worried! However, my poor sister was having hissy conniptions and kittens wondering if her husband and sister would actually return at the end of the day safe and sound.
I was merrily driving along but after I saw one, then two cars in the ditch off the highway, with police cars with sirens blaring coming up behind me. I thought, mmm, not good, there must be something tricky about how to drive on a snow-covered highway.
It quickly dawned on me to SLOW DOWN and drive cautiously instead. A lesson I continue to this day; drive to suit the conditions, sometimes under the speed limit and always be aware of cars around you as you drive.
Many winter experiences later....
Besides taking up a demanding new winter sport, learning how to drive safely, there were other things to learn as well. It was a lot of trial and error for the first few winter seasons until I learned how best to get use to, experience, cope and enjoy the winter months.
Winter in all its variety is endlessly fascinating!
Now, having spent many winters here, with lots more winter experiences under my belt, I want to share what I've learned with you, especially if you are new to snow and winter living. Helping you to get the most out of your winter living experience is the goal of my website.
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