Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Saturday, January 4, 2014

The New Cold

It’s been a roller-coaster of a winter, weather-wise, here in Edmonton.
Okay, I know that, calendar-ally, we are only two weeks into it.
But in reality it’s been winter here since Halloween.
Temperatures rising and falling.
And rising and falling.
Yesterday, it was -3. (26.6 F)
Balmy for the first part of January.
This morning, it’s -23. (-9.4 F).
A teeth-chattering, crackling cold that penetrates everything.
Frosts your windows over.
And is (in the words of Gus Pike) cold enough to freeze your nose hairs stiff.
Perfect for some short-lived, vigorous outdoor activities (emphasis of both ‘short-lived’ and ‘vigorous’).
Or for staying indoors beside a snapping fire with a cup of rich hot-chocolate in one hand and a good book in the other.
We Tolleys have a term to describe this type of weather.
And therein hangs a tale.
If you would indulge me . . .
Husby and I had taken our (then) three boys in to Gramma’s house for the evening.
It was c-c-cold.
Each of us, had been padded and wadded with layer after layer of life-preserving warmth.
We had gotten to Gramma’s.
Unwrapped.
Enjoyed the warmth of a good dinner, good conversation and a couple of rousing games of ‘Probe’ (great game – Google it . . .).
It was time to head home.
Husby had gone out and started the car while I began the process of padding and wadding . . . again.
He came in to transport the first child.
He picked up the little fat-sausage shaped figure and opened the door.
A blast of cold air shot through the entryway.
“Oooh!” our son said, his voice slightly muffled, coming, as it was, through the thick scarf wound around his head. “It’s chili beans out here!”
And just like that, our family had its term for ‘very cold’.
So there you have it.
In Edmonton, our weather ranges from ‘Oh-my-word-it’s-hot-let’s-hide-in-the-basement’ through ‘gah-I’m-soaked-to-the-skin’ and ‘balmy-for-this-time-of-year’ all the way down to ‘chili-beans’.
We call it the new weather.
Grab your parkas!

16 comments:

  1. Descriptive indeed...Dad always said, "cold enough to stick your nose shut".

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is definitely cold. Great story! BTW I guess that global warming hasn't hit your area, hun? Happy (belated) New Year Diane!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We eagerly await its arrival! So happy to hear from you! Happy New Year back! Best year ever!!!

      Delete
  3. Weather in Mexico: Chili today; Hot Tamale. I tend to reference something real cold to my ex-wife's side of the bed. But that's plain nasty... And funny.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We're getting that stinkin' cold weather now, too - and two days from now it's supposed to rain and be plus 10 C!

    I usually call this cold "enough to make your nose curl", but I love "chili beans cold" and shall use it from now on - what a clever connection your son made!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thinking of you as the storm sweeps across the country! Happy to increase your vocabulary! :)

      Delete
  5. You will probably hate this post. Down here in San Diego there is a high pressure front keeping the temps roasting. It was 80deg. F/ 27 C here on Christmas day. Heat makes my migraines explode. I would visit you in a heart beat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you'd certainly be welcome! How are your migraines when exposed to cold . . . with noise?

      Delete
  6. Chili beans! Love it! :-) On Monday we are going to have the "lowest high" in 20 years. It's going to be -8 F. Sounds balmy, huh?

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is a cute one and I am smiling.............
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  8. As much as I hate melting into a puddle on the footpath type heat, I also never want to experience chili beans cold. You people must be so tough to survive that year after year. I used to make jokes about moving to Alaska for our Aussie summers, I think I'll just stand in front of my open fridge instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. I think I prefer open fridge hot days as well!

      Delete

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