Winter is coming, Saskatoon.
At this time of the year, we still remember the long, lazy days of summer and the first crisp days of fall that dupe us into believing that maybe, just maybe, this winter will be different.
Maybe this time, the winter days won’t seem so short, the dark evenings and cold mornings won’t be so bad.
Perhaps this time around when the snow falls and finally stays, turning Saskatoon streets into skating rinks and inescapable ice ruts, everyone will have winter tires, window scrapers and the skill required to stop at red lights.
By October, we begin to glance nervously at the Farmer’s Almanac, averting our eyes from the words long, cold, frosty, record breaking snowfall and focusing instead on their 20% rate of inaccurate predictions.
This time, surely, they will get it wrong. Saskatoon winter will be a glorious, sparkling thing, with crisp snow glittering on pine tree boughs like diamonds, the sun warming the tip of your nose as you wander. This time, you’ll truly enjoy the winter wonderland that Saskatoon becomes, and get into the spirit of winter festivals, Christmas cheer and warming up from a not frigid stroll with a cheery cup of cocoa.
Saskatoon - you’ll not betray us this time, surely?
You’ll not dump feet of heavy snow on us, breaking our poor, meagre backs trying to shovel walkways and driveways day after day.
You’ll not dip to -30 for a month straight, gleefully crystallizing the city and chasing its denizens underground to grumpily out-wait the bitter old man of winter.
Saskatoon - this time you’ll be there for us, right?
The Farmer’s Almanac website is in fact predicting a rather long, rather chilly, end to 2016 and start to 2017. As per usual, the coldest months to grip us will be December and January, so pack your bags and get ready for your hot holiday.
People often remark on the Saskatchewanian tendency to talk about the weather. Everyone engaging in small talk, from office water cooler to grocery store line-up has some pithy rejoinders and dire predictions about what apocalypse we can expect this snow season.
It seems we all love to dread the long, dark, cold months between us and the next beautiful summer. That obstacle between us and cottage season.
It’s nice to have some common ground over which to walk with frozen feet, frosted eyelashes and numb cheeks.
Saskatoon, you make us hardy warriors of the subzero.
As Halloween passed, and Remembrance Day poppies begin to appear, we look back over our summer memories, cling close to the summer sun’s warmth still stored within our tissues and wrap ourselves with the comforting knowledge that we’re all in this together.
How do you wile away the winterlude? Share your winter tips for staying cheerful like these Saskatoon Redditors on the website designed for common commiserations. A good website to bookmark if you are looking for some local chat, and a great thread with tips for proper winter wear.
Rock on, Saskatoon! Winter can’t get us down!