Unsolicited Winter Tips

Sure, he teased us all with an above average fall, but once again Old Man Winter has settled


Every year there is a hope he might just bypass us all together and maybe visit Osoyoos, but he never does, and therefore we all must learn to adapt.

Now by no means do I consider myself an expert on northern living, but over my 9.5 years here I have picked up a trick or two.

For one, fashion is different up here.

While in the big city, pumps and a mini-skirt might make one look elegant and suave, here in the Yukon it does not.

You look silly and you look cold.

Instead, throw on some chic snow pants and Sorels®.

There’s nothing hotter than a smart person in Sorels (no, seriously, they’ll keep you warm even at minus 50).

Parkas are sexy.

Okay, maybe parkas aren’t sexy, but neither is pneumonia.

Bundle up, the more layers the better.

Lose the skinny jeans.

If you like form-fitting clothes, nothing is tighter than long johns.

Choose your toques wisely.

This is your fashion beacon, and the brighter the better.

It might even save your life.

During a mid-winter blizzard your toque is what separates you from everyone else.

For a single person come January, that goes a long way. And don’t worry – toque hair is totally in this winter.

Pedestrians, this isn’t your time.

I know it’s cold, but it’s also very slippery.

It never feels good to spill hot coffee on the crouch so please, if the roads look slippery and only one car is coming down the street, let it pass before you step into traffic.

There will be less sliding, less screaming and less scalding.

And yes, that very well could be a cyclist. You’re not necessarily going.

Get a hobby.

Be it squash, pottery or a carpentry class, nothing makes the winter fly by like a “crafternoon”.

Scrape your windows. All of them. And scrape the inside, too.

While you’re at it, clear the snow off your roof and hood. Sure, you can see, but what about the person behind you?

Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call a friend. Even better, get out for a holiday.

It doesn’t have to be Hawaii, although Honolulu is wonderful this time of year.

Most important, set your expectations realistically.

It will get dark, it will get cold and, yes, your car may get covered in so much snow that you can’t find it.

There may be times the darkness gets to you and you could find yourself single and missing your family.

If you prepare for this, it will be easier to deal with if and when it happens.

So hunker down with a good book, mull some wine, rent a dozen or so of your favourite TV series (I recommend Deadwood and Extras) and embrace winter.

And slow down.

Winter is here for awhile, so there is no need to rush.

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