Winter can also be very invigorating

I guess many of us were shocked just a little bit last week when the first blast of winter came calling

I guess many of us were shocked just a little bit last week when the first blast of winter came calling, including wind, snow, and instant icy roads? But then again, it didn’t take long for most of us to adjust to what is inevitable at this time of the year, and will likely hang around until the March melts or the cool April showers.

We will get absolutely nowhere by complaining about nature’s sudden seasonal transformation, but as long as we beat the rush and get our vehicles, our garages, and our children prepared for the elements, winter might not turn out to be so bad. In fact, many claim that Jack Frost’s frigid four or five month’s reign can also turn out to be quite invigorating and fun for all ages. Just after the first snowfall last week, I saw quite a few rambunctious and giggling children out with their sleds, toboggans, and boards dashing for the nearest hill, as well as a few snow shovels, blowers, and ice-picks getting their first test run. By the way, it is not only humans who can suffer frost bite, so don’t forget to dig out those nifty coats and socks for when you have to walk the dog. Our kids or grandchildren are always the bravest when it comes to dashing outside on the coldest days, just itching to create the first snowman of the season, to build a fort or igloo, to make angels in the snow, or to start the first neighborhood snowball fight. Then there are those hardy teens and adults, who long for romantic sleigh rides, cross country skiing, the road hockey league, firing up the ski-doo, or skating on the outdoor rink and setting up the old fishing hut, once the ice is thick enough.

Old man winter always blesses us with that crisp fresh air that instantly creates runny noses and healthy red cheeks when we venture outside, but then again, there will be absolutely no bugs around. It will soon be a complete turnaround on the local sports scene for both participants and spectators, including hockey, curling, and all sorts of action, both outdoors and indoors. What is also really great about the frosty season is that if we get too cold we can come inside to get warm in front of a roaring fire or heat vent, enjoy a steaming cup of hot chocolate (or toddy for adults), or even snuggle up with an extra blanket or anyone else that is interested.

Now that Halloween is history, the stores will magically change into the Christmas mood, which means smart lists and early shopping, as well as pre-planning getting together with family and friends over that most glorious of holidays. As proud and tough Albertans, it usually doesn’t take us long to adjust and blend into winter, but then again there will be those who will head to the quick-tan parlor in preparation to sneak away for a get-away amongst the sun and sand. Early November might just be the right and most sensible time to put up those fancy outside Christmas decorations, while there are those who left them up from last time around. Bottom line, no matter how deep the snow may get or the wind might blow, we will push and pull together, while always trying to be prepared for a winter white out, but don’t panic about the Farmers’ Almanac forecast or what the so-called weather specialists might predict.

How about a few funny quickies.

● We had a power outage last week and my PC, T.V. and games console shut down immediately, and it was raining outside, so I couldn’t play golf. So he had to sit down and talk to his wife for a few hours, and she seemed like a very nice person.

● A woman was applying for a job in a Florida lemon grove, but seemed way too qualified for the job. “Look miss,” said the foreman, “Have you any actual experience in picking lemons?” “Well, as a matter a fact, yes.” she replied. “I’ve been divorced three times.”

● While trying to rush through the express lane in the grocery store, a woman ahead of me had slipped into the line pushing a cart piled high with tons of groceries. Imagine my delight when the cashier beckoned the woman to come forward, looked into the cart, and asked sweetly, “So which six items would you like to buy?” That should happen more often for those who don’t bother to read signs.

● Parents spend the first part of a child’s life urging them to walk and talk, and then the rest of their childhood making them sit down and keep quiet.

Please remember that winter clothes are the most fashionable way to keep warm, and have a great week, all of you.

— Hammertime