Right now, currently in Regina, the temperature is about minus 30. With the wind chill…well, here’s what Environment Canada has to say about the weather right now:
10:30 PM CST Sunday 04 January 2015
Extreme Cold Warning in effect for:
- City of Regina
A prolonged period of very cold wind chills continues.
A frigid Arctic airmass has settled over the Prairies. Very cold temperatures combined with brisk west winds are giving extreme wind chill values of minus 40 to minus 45 throughout much of southern Saskatchewan tonight into early Monday. Extreme wind chill values are expected to ease Monday morning as temperatures moderate somewhat.
Coincidentally, when I was looking at gardening web pages today I saw that the city of London, England is expecting a high of plus 10C.
To put it into perspective, the only thing that grows at minus 40C is hope. For those of you who’ve never experienced cold this chilling, picture driving down a road, hitting a pot hole too hard, and your wind shield spider webbing from a small chip you didn’t see in the summer. Picture throwing a cup of boiling water into the cold air and watching it fall to the ground as powder. Powder. My dog can walk for about a block before I have to pick her up and warm her feet. Along the streets today people were boosting each other and tow trucks were as numerous as the cars parked along the side streets. If you can’t plug your block heater in right now, you’re screwed unless you’ve got a good battery and prayer.
I remember hearing my social studies teacher talking about taking the high school basket ball team down to southern California for a tournament, and the people there wondering why his car had an electrical plug hanging out from the hood. He told them up north in Canada, we plug into parking meters and at the end of the month, the city just collects it out of the bank.
I think about hearing stories about people at the time of my grandparents who homesteaded out here in Saskatchewan and would have to spend cold days like this in bed because it was literally too cold to get out of bed. Things have changed. Sitting here at my desk looking out into the cold night, I can feel the heat kick in and make my feet all toasty.
Around February, I notice a change in people’s attitudes. Not necessarily for the better, but for the worse. There’s a lack of patience, a kind of edginess that just travels around the population like a virus. We’re all on edge; the snow is lingering, we’re getting tired of the white. Some people can afford to travel to a sunny beach further south for a week or two to break the winter blah’s. I don’t have the luxury. But I do have something that gives me hope and keeps my spirits up. The gardener’s spirit.
The gardener’s spirit is like those trees out in the park that I can hear cracking from extreme cold: the winter can crack you, but it doesn’t break you if you hold onto hope.
Today I trimmed down my amaryllis and took a deeper look into the pot. Surprise of surprises, the one bulb has now got two baby bulbs sprouting out of the side that I’ll be soon trimming off and repotting. The bulb from last year hasn’t bloomed yet but I am keeping my fingers crossed.
We have to catch out moments of spring in ways like this, and keep hope. I think about people in London gardening year round and yeah….I’m a little jealous. But the cold weather provides us opportunities and conditions, unique challenges of patience and frustration that aren’t the same in warmer climates.
Oh who am I kidding. Any good looking single guys in the UK want to pay my air fair over? I’d make a great house husband/gardening fool!