Past Deadline: It’s All About the Frozen Bubbles

Posted: January 19, 2014 in Past Deadline, Perth Courier, Stephanie Gray, Stephanie Gray Communications
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Here is Past Deadline from the Jan. 9/14 issue of The Perth Courier.

It’s all about the frozen bubbles

One Sunday afternoon, I looked out my kitchen window at the tranquil backyard. An occasional bird fluttered into view. Gentle snowflakes were falling from the sky, covering the abundant rabbit tracks.

“It’s wintering out there again,” I said aloud.

I actually don’t mind winter all that much. I’m not super crazy about the really frigid cold snaps but, generally speaking, winter and I get along okay.

Once my muscles get used to it, I find shovelling to be decent exercise (although the novelty does wear off). Back in the days before my Stupid Foot moved in and Will Power moved out, I used to actually enjoy power walking and running in the winter – I stayed nice and cool, and leaping over snow banks provided an extra cardio kick. Or something.

Although we don’t take advantage of it nearly as often as we should, I like the outdoor activities winter presents. We’ve got sledding and snowshoeing for starters, and there has been some interest in getting better at skating and cross-country skiing, too. (That could be a future column topic.)

Fortunately “do more stuff outside” continues to be on the list of “Revolutions” for 2014, so maybe we’ll make some progress on that front.

Also, I was reminded last week, when it was minus 150 degrees with a windchill of minus 356 – depending on who you talked to – that there are some really cool things you can do outside in winter, as long as you dress for it. Mainly, you can freeze bubbles.

They were talking about this cool trick on the late news one night. Blow a soap bubble outside and watch it freeze within seconds – when it pops it shatters. Cool beans! Actually, really freezingly frigid beans!

Wear a coat, you silly girl. It's January!

Wear a coat, you silly girl. It’s January!

We didn’t have a chance to try this before it warmed up, so we’ll have to hold out for the next cold snap.

Another super cool thing about winter in Canada is that, being Canadian, we can totally complain about it even if we don’t mind winter. You know how in the summer we are constantly hearing “Hot enough for ya?” Well, we get the same sort of thing in the winter, except in much more colourful language that is often muffled by layers of scarves or numb lips or frozen beards. And it’s perfectly acceptable to go on at length about the cold or the snow or the ice, and what conversation wouldn’t be complete without some sort of analysis about shovelling and plowing?

A lot of conversations also poke fun at the whole “global warming” thing, especially since December and January (so far) have featured many days of below-normal temperatures. I tend to think “climate change” is the more apt name, and sometimes, as I face a shock of frigid air that takes my breath away, I contemplate that ice ages, despite the amusing cartoon characters we see in the movies, probably aren’t that much fun, either. (Not to mention floods, tornadoes and freakish ice storms… but I digress.)

Winter is what winter is. Sometimes it’s really nasty and unpleasant and cold, and many people have additional challenges that make it downright deadly. Sometimes it’s too icy or too snowy or too cold. It is guaranteed to inconvenience travel plans at some point.

It’s also a time, however, for nature to sleep and rejuvenate. It’s a stunning change of season that is unique to certain parts of the world, and it brings its own awesome – and sometimes dangerous – beauty. It’s one of the hallmarks of being Canadian.

And, people, it’s when we can go outside and freeze bubbles! C’mon! You can’t beat that!


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