I LOVE WINTER. In Winnipeg. There. I said it. Sorry, what's that? You're shaking your head and calling the therapist? Oh c'mon, I'm not really that nutters. Four out of four people in my family recently polled all declared the same. And believe-you-me, for a girl who grew up on the temperate west coast, this love of winter came as a bit of a surprise.
In Vancouver, I would whole-heartedly agree with neighbours when they exclaimed (after the fifth consecutive month of rain) "Hey, at least we don't have to shovel it like the rest of the suckers in Canada!" Now granted I don't actually have to shovel here (thanks Jay), but the crunch of the snow, the sparkle of it, the blinding reflected light is like a shiny little miracle to me. And speaking of light: seasonal affective disorder begone! But woe are the sunglass-less eyeballs peering at endless bright blue sunny skies of Winnipeg winters. Now that hurts.
During our first winter here I realized something: I felt like a real Canadian. I finally got all the snow and cold jokes. I loved the idea of the outdoor skating rink just down the street. I love layering up. I love my utterly unsexy snowpants. I love watching the kamikaze winter cyclists bearing down in -40C (my hubby being one of them). And I love love LOVE the Snow Beard (it's when ice crystals form on anything with the slightest bit of moisture). It's pioneer-sexy!
Sure, a lot of you out there already know you hate winter. I can respect that. But this love note is for closeted winter-people. Especially those who live in places where the rest of the country think it's unbearably extreme. It isn't. For once, I'd like to see Winnipeg Tourism actually develop a destination campaign on how the city shines in winter. 'Cos it really does. It shines so much, you better not forget your sunglasses.