Wednesday, January 30, 2008

-40 on the prairies

Our reliable weather spotter Patricia mentioned that it is minus 40 C on the prairies. That's pretty darn cold, if you ask me, and I think that most Prairie dwellers would agree. It might be a little warmer here but it certainly is not the weather you want if you are planning to be outside today. There is a flash freeze warning with high wind gusts and freezing rain. Actually I was woken up this morning by the sound of the wind shaking my house. I'm chalking that phenomenon up to a strong wind, not to a weak house.

I reluctantly spent yesterday indoors with the hope that I could go out for a walk today, but somehow I don't think that is going to happen. I have lots of good books to read, plenty of food and no particular reason to go out in today's weather. I was toying with the idea of putting my car back on the road for the next week but think that I'll cancel those plans.

Road trips to Ottawa and Toronto would be fun but they can wait until spring when the highways are safer. Now you know the truth - Babe is an armchair adventurer. I'm a fair weather excursionist who is just as happy to explore the world of books and imagination as the winter wonderland known as Canada in January.

It's a good thing I don't live in the tropics. Life would be pretty boring if every day was warm and sunny. Right now I have the excitement of watching the wind blow life past my front window. My neighbour's hot tub cover is blowing away in the wind. There is a dog walker going by the front of my house. It's rare to see a dog with an expression on its face, but this one is definitely saying "couldn't this crazy lady have left me at home?" The school bus is canceled so the usual group of kids didn't come out today.

Generally it is a good time to hibernate. I'm down to the last few chapters of Into the Wild and should have it finished before lunch. The author wrote about some other explorers who have perished over the years and tried to make sense of the mindset these people had. It is tempting to claim to understand the desire to live a minimalist life and get away from civilized society but I'm not sure that I can get my head around the complete renunciation of life that these men exhibited. The concept of simplifying your life and "getting away from it all" is a different animal than going into the woods and starving to death. By choice. Without putting a back up plan in place to save yourself. I probably won't be able to understand it because I can't conceive of living this kind of life.

The next book on my stack is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. Have any of you read it? If so, what did you think?

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