MITCHELL’S MUSINGS: It’s a random thing

OK, when is it actually cold outside? Well, like most things in life it’s a relative thing.

Glenn Mitchell is a columnist and managing editor with The Morning Star.

OK, when is it actually cold outside? Well, like most things in life it’s a relative thing.

As in some of my relatives, especially if they live on the Prairies, don’t think it’s even approaching cold until it hits double digits below zero, Celsius that is.

Okay, that might not be the right definition of relative, ahem, but it works in this instance, so there.

In the Lower Mainland if it even approaches zero it’s time to think about declaring a state of emergency. I exaggerate of course but sometimes the news coverage makes it seem that way, and yes I do know that it’s a damper cold down there that goes right through you, unlike in these parts.

But what about these parts? We’re not quite like our hearty Winnipeg friends but we’re not West Coast whiny either when it comes to a bit of frigid weather.

After all we’re still Canadian (well I know my wife was born in Saskatchewan and is definitely a Canuck but when it comes to colder weather she seems more West Coastish, and that’s as far as I can go on that topic, ahem).

However, I have to admit when I awoke to a minus 23 status on the Weather Network the other day it got my attention.

The radio was saying only (ha) minus 21 and my phone was somewhere in the middle but even my Prairie cousins would think that’s at least approaching what most people south of Siberia would call cold.

It’s also funny to note how we get our temperature recordings these days. Back when I was growing up everyone had a thermometer attached to the house just outside a window so you could see how cold it was in your neighbourhood. Not high tech, but very specific to your neighbourhood and reliable (unless it happened to be in the sun, of course). I guess it was environmentally friendly too, well except for the mercury I suppose.

Of course back then everything was in Fahrenheit and I have to admit I’m still adjusting to Celsius after all these years and I’m still figuring out how they somehow meet at minus 40. However, I don’t want to be around when it happens either.

But no matter how you find out or how accurate or specific the information is, it affects how you approach and go about your day.

As soon as I found out it was minus 20 something outside I informed my wife and assured her we would get through this bit of Canadiana. But I have to admit it was yours truly that seemed more anxious about it.

Would my truck start? Would my kid’s older car start or would I have to help get him to Kelowna somehow? Were my gloves and toque still in the truck cause I might actually need them today?

Awwwww, don’t be such a wimp and just get on with your day and see how things go. All this anxiety because it’s a couple degrees colder than you thought it was going to be? My Prairie relatives would be rolling their eyes about this point.

And of course everything went fine, with a few precautions.

Plus, you know what, at lunch time that day I bravely (or thought I was being brave, ha) went for a walk and it wasn’t bad at all. In fact it was a sunny, amazingly bright and beautiful day. And I didn’t get cold at all.

Of course it had warmed up a bit and I was in the sunshine the whole time and it was only 15 minutes or so……it’s not exactly like the people who actually work outside during this cold spell, who I respect immensely.

But bottom line, cold may be a relative thing but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one around here looking forward to above freezing temperatures forecast for later this week. Call me a wimp if you must.


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