Love Canada. Hate winter.

I never liked winter. I could never get with the program. Nothing has changed except I wear long johns when the temp drops now. I can’t think of one good thing to say about winter. I don’t like mitts and boots, hats or any winter sports. I TRIED! God knows I tried!

Most of the mining towns I lived in were up north (I mean up north, not the Laurentians),  Snow Lake, Chibougamau. I don’t remember freezing all the time. We didn’t have Down coats, just bulky parkas. We skated on outdoor rinks and ponds, and walked to school even when the temperature dipped to dangerous levels. We wore a scarf over the nose and numerous pairs of socks. We weren’t very glamourous, now that I think of it, but we never did think of it, then. I didn’t like it, but need I remind you: We didn’t get a vote. I don’t remember anyone talking about the weather, ever! By the way, we never had a full length mirror in our house. We depended on the medicine cabinet and one fancy round mirror over the sofa in the living room. We didn’t spend countless hours admiring our selves or  finding fault, we were too busy. Doing what? No TV, computers, not many books either. In the early days, our parents didn’t have a car, so there were no sightseeing jaunts on the weekends. Our parents certainly didn’t “entertain” us, they were too busy working and housekeeping. The rare time that Mom would come outside and skip with us, take us along berry picking, or play Rummy on the bed,  and Dad would take us to the lake after work to swim in the frigid water or to skate on a pond, were treasured memories.

We didn’t have time to mope around. It wasn’t the “thing” to do. I don’t recall ever saying “I’m bored”, not that it would have ellicited a response anyway. Parents didn’t respond to “bored”, like they didn’t respond to “I don’t like green peas”.

And then, Elvis burst on the scene. That was a game changer, or did it just happen to me at the perfect age? It seems to me that I started to come of age about that time, I listened to music, combed my hair 100 times, chewed Thrills gum, and chased boys…

I really wonder how all the little nuances in life impact us. Are we better off? Are we smarter, calmer? More courageous?  I don’t know.

I love my life, and I have said so often how grateful I am to have gotten this far.

I just HATE winter.

PS: We undertook a renovation to stave off the winter blues, and we are doing most of the work ourselves. We are fairly competent and progress is slow but sure and we should be able to drag it out until the first heavenly sign of Spring.

By the time this is over, I have a feeling that carpentering will be the 2nd thing to appear on my “Hate List”.


8 Responses to “Love Canada. Hate winter.”

  1. Pat Says:

    Just love how you write – takes me back to how life was back then (mine was identical) You have a real talent – keep it coming.

    • littlepatti Says:

      Thanks Pat, your comments are encouraging. I always find it interesting that so many of us from various backgrounds and back yards, had common experiences growing up.

  2. Anonymous Says:


    That was a great article. One of the best you have ever written. I too am not fond of winter. I use to cross country ski, and snow shoe in order to get outside. I tobogganed and ice skated (outdoor rinks) when I was a kid. If I never would have to feel the bitter cold of winter again, I would be truly blessed. I do envy the snow birds who head to Florida for the winter.

    I too, was never bored growing up. I grew up in Park Extension of Montreal, a working class area with lots of alley ways to play hide ‘n’ seek in. It was a bit of a tough area, with a few teenage gangs. I chose to join the Boy Scouts instead. I went to Camp Tamrakota in the summer. Now whenever somebody tells me they are bored, I usually respond that only boring people get bored.

    Thanks for bringing back the fond memory of Thrills gum. It tasted great, but it didn’t last long. It was the cheapest to buy however. It was my personal fave. Yes I loved Elvis. Today he is still crowned as “the king of rock ‘n’ roll”. I would have to say that my favourite was and still is, the one and only Rolling Stones, the bad boys of rock ‘n’ roll. They are still crowned today as “the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band that ever lived”.

    Well thanks for the stroll down memory lane, it was fun.


  3. Debbie Says:

    Love your article Pat, I agree 100%, winter is too cold for me, too long, and I just
    hate hibernating when the roads are bad or even worse coming home from somewhere and finding a blizzard has just hit! Oh, the Thrills gum, that was my favorite…until one of my fillings came out and I was in agony until the next day when my mother was able to get me to a dentist. For all of it’s inconveniences
    though, I really do like a white Christmas, guess you can’t have it all unless you are a snow bird heading south for the winter – but then what about our white Christmas. Thanks Pat

  4. Note from Marilyn: Says:

    Hi Pat,
    I so enjoyed reading about things from your past. It is a good reminder of what’s most important in life and the things that have been building blocks for who we are now. I love your sense of humour also. It’s easy to see how you have such a loving family. They come by it naturally . We have been very blessed to have had the families we grew up in. With all my family now dead, I appreciate more and more, as time goes on, that God gave me the parents and sister I had. Although we had the usual squabbles of growing up, there was always the knowledge that we were loved. I think one of the greatest tragedies of today is that some children grow up without ever knowing they are loved. It is a heart breaker for me. Thanks for sending me these excerpts from the past and food for thought for the present. Have a great day………Marilyn

  5. littlepatti Says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    You too are an inspiration.
    I just wish that I had been more “tuned in” to my parents & Doug’s. They were all wise, loving and wonderfully caring and understanding to us. Sometimes, we were just too busy in those days & of course we all think it’ll go on forever.
    Fortunately, on 2nd thought, they are with us forever, but time stands still, and I can’t ask any more questions. I have uncovered lots of questions just writing this blog for 3 years.

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