So they reckon we’ve had the warmest summer for the last 54 years here in Edmonton. Apparently, the ‘norm’ is 4 days with temperatures in excess of 30 degrees – and this year, we’ve had a grand total of 12. I did think it was slightly warm at the time – but put it down to the rosy glow from several glasses of white wine. Mind you, it’s been a desert on the irrigation side as we’ve had lower than usual precipitation (or as you and I term it, rain). It’s been a gorgeous summer – blue skies, sunshine – absolutely beautiful. They also forecast another ‘mild’ winter, which in Edmonton terms just means the snow doesn’t arrive until after Halloween, and we get temperatures which ‘only’ go down to -30. Brrrrrrrr ……. just the thought is making me shiver.
Mild or not, it’ll be a complete shock to the system when it does arrive and there’s only 2 options – either hibernate with a good book and a roaring fire for 5 months, or embrace the cold and take to the slopes or the ice rinks.
The first does sound highly attractive, I admit. But, about to embark on our second winter in Western Canada, we’ve decided that it’s all in the mind and we need to get our mental state looking forward to the snow and cold weather. So, without hesitation or any due consideration of what we’re actually letting ourselves in for, we’ve bought a ski season pass for the whole family – taking us from mid-November through to the end of March. Only 10 mins away in the car, there will be absolutely no excuse not to ‘hit those slopes’ and with this in mind, everyone is now eagerly anticipating the snow arriving and our opportunity to ski whenever the mood strikes. Given last year’s debacle of a broken wrist (click here for a refresher), I’ve checked the small print and as long as I ensure any broken bones are newly acquired by 1 November, I’ll be able to get our money back. I jest ….. let’s hope last year was a one-off, and there are no such incidents. More likely, is a series of aching limbs, sore knees and bad backs. And that’s just me ….
Next on the agenda, is to get us kitted out with all the necessary items. As you would expect, there’s a run-up to the inevitable snow arriving, and the shops are already updating their stock with all manner of winter sports. Plus, there’s the exhibitions that are coming up, and the second hand ‘swop’ days which sound ideal for us as ‘first-timers’. The ‘truck’ has also been kitted out ready for skis and equipment – I’ve now got a cover over the truck bed which will hold all our equipment in the back without getting covered in snow. Ski lessons are also booked to perfect techniques, what more could we possibly need?
For now, we’ve still got wonderfully sunny weather and the Autumn colours are really pronounced. You’ll be sniggering to hear that my rather reckless attempt at physical activity which I touched on in last week’s blog, has seen me achieve a grand total of 20 miles of ‘brisk’ walking at the end of week 3. Not bad, eh! In a moment of complete madness, we also entered ourselves in a work charity run/walk over the weekend. My oldest two kids decided to run the 5km, whilst I brought up the rear with the youngest walking the same distance. It was an insight into the art of innovative motivational techniques for inspiring my youngest kid to continue walking and taking her mind off the distance. It did help having the lure of several bouncy castles, popcorn, candy floss, food trucks and a petting zoo awaiting us at the finish line which proved their worth in inspiration….. and that was just me!
So, I’m milking the remaining time we have left of Autumn weather and aim to get out and about, making the most of the River Valley and the stunning Autumn colours. It’ll be white shortly, and we’ve got everything in place to enjoy it when it arrives. When my body can take no more, there’s always the hibernation option, a good book, glass of wine and a log fire. Mmmmm …… sounds like a plan to me 🙂