The First Snowfall of the Year: Beautiful or Doom and Gloom?

Today we had our first real snowfall of the year. The kidlet was fascinated by it – this is the first year she’s old enough to run around in it and recognize it as something different. She insisted we go outside so she could explore the phenomenon, and I admit, that between her enthusiasm, and how beautiful it looks outside (especially since I intend to stay inside all day) it wasn’t entirely unwelcome.

How terrifying, though, if you recognized this as the start of another long, cold winter without the benefit of electricity, reliable heat, and potentially getting trapped and isolated wherever you make your home. I think this may have been the perspective of some of our ancestors here, and certainly would have to play into things if the ease of our daily life was suddenly erased.

Think about it. Sure, snow and winter can be a bit of an inconvenience now, seeing as the roads can be bad as we traverse them in our heated, gasoline-powered vehicles. We might even shiver as we look out of the triple-pane glass of the windows, from inside a centrally-heated home. But I have a fair amount of confidence in the fact that I don’t have to experience the cold if I don’t want to. I don’t have to worry about my animals or my family freezing to death. About how cold it could get if the heat goes out, what we’ll eat, how we’ll find food.

A couple of years ago, here in Alberta we had the coldest temperature in the world for a night; colder even than Siberia as we dipped down below -40 degrees Celsius. I’m not sure how cold it actually got, since my thermometer maxed out at -40, but we hear that it may have been as cold as -50. I was having a party, everyone had driven out here, and to drive off the chill, we had the fireplace and wood cook stove burning to supplement the furnace; the kitchen actually got too hot at around 30 degrees Celsius.

But what if we didn’t have that luxury? How much dread would the first heavy snow and the beginning of winter elicit? What loss would be anticipated or feared?

What do you think?

Thanks for reading, and have a great week – oh, and sorry for the late post. I’ll use the excuse that Monday was a holiday, and I really only have managed to reach the computer today.

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