Monday, April 15, 2013

blown away

"Wow, it's only -10°C today," I said to myself as I got dressed. "I can totally wear my spring coat. I can totally wear my leather boots. I don't need to wear a hat at all. Hey, maybe I can actually dress nice to work today!"

wind inappropriate wardrobe

So I said to myself, walking out the door. Then I was blown away by the gust of wind that had apparently been waiting for me outside my house. I had forgotten to check the wind. Rookie mistake. Always check the wind, Gloria, always check the wind.

At first, I thought I could just grit my teeth and bear with the wind. This was mainly because I was wearing what I perceived to be a cool outfit and didn't want to ruin it with a hat. But the wind was biting. It felt like it was cutting right through my forehead into my skull. At some point, I lost the feeling in my ears. I felt defeat was imminent. Time to turn around and dress more sensibly. Luckily, I was only 100 metres from my house.

wind appropriate wardrobe

Yeah, it was windy. It g

ets pretty windy up here sometimes. It's nothing like I've ever experienced before. Down south in the city, sometimes I'll feel a gust of wind and be like, "Golly, that wind almost lifted my skirt. How embarrassing that would have been." Here, it could probably lift a cow like in that film Twister, if we had a cow up here, and that cow was on a diet. Winds gust up to 70km/hr. Have you ever experienced 70 km/hr winds before? I have not. It took some getting used to.

"Don't worry, I'll put up these flyers advertising for new board members around town." I said to my boss at work. And then I stepped outside, and the wind whipped those flyers right out my hand and out toward the frozen Beaufort Sea. Maybe some of the polar bears out in the wilderness are looking to become board members.

"Let me get that box out of the trunk," I said, reaching for the back of the office car, and found out that the reason why you're supposed to hold on to the car door when you open it is because the wind might snap it off.

There is a road under that blowing snow. Can you see it?

Then there was driving home from work. I had to stop by the police station on the way home, so I decided to take the coast line road home, because, stupid Gloria, I thought that oceanside scenery would be nice. Wrong. It was nice only if you had a thing for feeling terrified. Turns out that what the wind does is blow all the snow in from the frozen ocean and on to the road. Kids might think that riding through snow banks in the middle of the road is fun, but kids are stupid. The worst part was that if things went wrong and I lost control of the car (and the snow banks underneath my tire certainly were fighting me for control), I was painfully aware that the truck would go sailing off the road and towards the ocean, because there was literally, like, nothing between the road and the water. Suddenly I felt no comfort in the fact that I was driving in a four wheel drive truck. All the bigger thing to go down in. It didn't help that the best way to drive through snow banks is to speed up as you approach it. It is totally counter-intuitive to speed up towards a thing that is going to potentially cause you to lose control of the car. But then, you don't want to get stuck in it either. So...ramming speed. With each snow drift I drove over, I hoped that the crazy winds were at least pushing me in the right direction.

But even the fierceness of the wind is something you can get used to, and folks around here have adapted to it. I watched in amazement as my friend that I invited over for dinner arrived at our house on foot, having walked from the other side of town through the 70 km/h winds, pulling her two year old baby on a sled behind her.  Did I also mention she's 8 months pregnant? And then when I offered her a ride home after dinner, she declined, hoping that the walk home would put the baby to sleep. That's one tough mom.