there are a couple of caveats to what i'm about to say and they are very, very important.
1. it's not even the middle of december, so technically, winter hasn't even started yet.
2. i haven't been forced into the time-honoured montreal tradition of waiting for a bus in 70km/h winds and -25C temperatures yet.
now that we have that out of the way, something occurred to me yesterday that brought a smile to my face. yesterday i was outside in a fairly heavy snowstorm (15cm total) and cold temperatures (-10C, -17C with the wind chill). it wasn't especially pleasant, but i can't say that it was entirely unpleasant either. the times when the wind was in my face were not enjoyable, but i was layered and bundled enough that i really can't say that i felt uncomfortably cold. i even found myself dawdling a little, choosing to walk rather than take the bus (because i was adamant that i did not want to be inside any vehicle that went above ground) and feeling sorry for the poor sods in cars (who probably thought that i was the unfortunate one) as they tried to make their way home at a speed of 10cm per hour.
what made me smile was that i realised when i got home that, by and large, winter doesn't get a whole lot worse than what i've experienced this week. it was a bone-chilling -21C on Monday. i know that i can expected a few weeks of that in january/ february, but at least i know that i survived and even managed to walk around a little without feeling as if i was going to die. yesterday was a storm, which made walking difficult, but i managed to deal with it, walking even more than i had to.
last winter was infuriating to me, because of the record setting snowfalls that made getting around really unpleasant. the old age home around the corner from my toronto apartment was never plowed, no matter how much snow was on the ground. it didn't help that i worked on a street with no sidewalk, making getting to the office from the bus stop a life-threatening proposition. it was also irritating because it just wouldn't stop. it was cold and miserable from november through to may, pretty much with no breaks.
however, i did make it through, with no permanent damage. and that means that i know i can make it through winter in montreal. it's supposed to be a fairly normal winter in these parts. "normal" would actually temperatures above what we've had in the last few days. (and, yes, i realise that the average is found between the warm and the cool days. at least it means there will be warm days.) the average annual snowfall is more than what i was so frustrated with last year, however. i'll just have to hope that they're better at clearing it out of the way. (toronto is notable for repeated epic fail in this regard.)
yes, winter is upon us. this year, i have myself halfway convinced that i can deal with it...