So, another winter came to Yellowknife. This one is a little bit different than the two I had previously experienced here so far. The first snow this year we got at the end of October, but it melted before Halloween. For many people from Yellowknife, it was the first snow-less Halloween in their lives.
Suddenly, on the night of November 7th, the temperature dropped drastically to below -20 degrees. During only one night Great Slave Lake got covered with ice. Luckily after two days the temperature rose and it was between -5 and -10 for most of November. Just in the past week temperatures below -30 have settled into our daily repertoire.
It happens that human memory is very elusive. We have to get use to the winter reality all over again and keep remembering about stuff like:
Wear proper clothing. There’s no excuses, even if getting ready to go out is taking too long, you can’t skip any of the layers and must cover every little part of your skin, especially hands.
Do not touch metal. On the first really cold day of this winter, I got back home with hands full of groceries. When the code in the intercom didn’t work, I had to put all the bags on the snow, take my mittens off and dig out the key from the bottom of my purse. Then, with the visibility allowed by a little gap between a huge scarf wrapped around my face and the fur from my hood, I started struggling with a frozen lock, while at the same time holding rest of my stuff with my knees. When finally the lock clicked, mad and irritated, I grabbed firmly the metal handle of the door… When the metal got in contact with my skin, I felt a metallic pain which proceeded deep into my bones and then slowly disappeared within an hour. I am just hoping this pain will be well remembered for another 4 months or so.
Turn on and turn off the power to the car heater. In the winter time cars need to be plugged into the power outlets, so their batteries won’t die in the very low temperatures. If you forget to plug your car to the outlet or turn the power on, then there is a big probability that next morning your car won’t start. It is also good to remember to unplug the car in the morning, especially when you are in a hurry to get to work, otherwise you will be dragging a cable along the frozen road.
The coldest night is still ahead of us, but oh well.