Tuesday, February 4, 2014

warm spell

We had a "warm spell" for a while last week, where it was actually kind of pleasant. It was only about -30 with the windchill.  It means the cars start up without much protest.  It means I can grab the doorknob with my bare hands and not feel agonizing pain.  It means I can walk around without my hood up and my lungs don't feel like they're being stabbed with sharp knives when I breathe in. Not wearing a hood is kind of nice because it means that you can actually hear the person that you're walking with, rather than repeating "What?" to each other through your muffled scarves, like an elderly couple.

Added to the pleasant temperature was the return of the sun, which stays in the sky for a whole five hours now before setting again. It feels like a real day! It's so wonderful to feel the warmth of the sun on your face...as best as you can manage to have your skin exposed to feel it, anyway.  Maybe I should even think about wearing sunscreen again...maybe.

It can make you absent-minded at times. Like the time when I reached out and grabbed the wrong end of the iron.  Instantly there was a sickening burning sensation in my fingers.

These were the thoughts that ran through my hand:

I burned my hand!
I live in the Arctic and I burned my hand!

I haven't felt this sensation in a long time. I've dealt with frostbite and freezeburn, but...a regular burn? For a minute, as I buried my hand in snow, I considered whether getting frostbite on the burn would balance out the painful problem.  It doesn't, by the way. Also, if you're going to burn your hand in the Arctic, don't do it on a day that the pharmacy is closed.

Despite the warm spell, there's no denying the fact that it's still winter.  Last Sunday was Groundhog Day. I watched my friends from the south discuss whether the groundhog saw his own shadow, all while thinking to myself, Ha! As if winter would last for only another six weeks here.  

 I think Nunavut needs to get its own Groundhog Day tradition.  Perhaps instead of a groundhog, it would be a lemming.  I suppose it wouldn't be much of an occasion, because every year it would just poke its head out and always predict that the ocean won't melt till June.  And then it would immediately be eaten by an Arctic fox.  Because that is the North.

the kind of flyers we get in the North

 At any rate, the "nice" weather will be short-lived, of course.  With the unusually warm temperatures, we're expecting a blizzard tonight.