Friday, February 8, 2019


    We are in the tenth day of a winter cold spell. Our days have had highs of minus 25-25 C (minus 12-15 F) and nights of minus 30 - 35 C ( minus 25 -30 F). So I've been kind of a sissy and stayed inside most of the time.

    I got thinking about when we were little kids. We played outside most of the time in the winter. I was born in the late 30's and my young childhood was in the early forties. We didn't have much for toys. I remember a set of wooden blocks. So most of the time we played outside. The snow was our toys. There were large snow drifts . We could make tunnels, snow houses, slide down the slopes, jump off high banks or just throw snow at each other. I'm sure Mom was happy to have two little guys play outside instead of being under her feet in a very small house.

    We played for hours before we went in the house. Now I remember the clothes we wore. Fleece lined underwear. This was a suit like coveralls and it was very warm. There was a convenient opening at the back for elimination! We wore two sets of pants. We had felt boots with what was called an overshoe. ...very warm. Felt boots were boots that were made completely of felt. Mom bought the underwear and felt boots. The other clothing came in what we called parcels. People sent us clothing.
    Here we were probably 2 and 3.

    My point is that we played outside for hours most days.

    Now I was in the Arctic for my mid twenties. We didn't have cars so walked wherever we wanted to go. I  was outdoors when I was free. Again, I had proper clothing. I had a parka made by a local Eskimo woman. It was warm with three layers. There was an outside shell for wind. A middle layer for insulation and an inside layer for lining. And don't forget the trusty fleece lined underwear. I had kamiks with duffel liners. I don't remember being cold. We snow shoed many miles and hours.

    A nice sweater my Mom made.

    This is the parka I wore in the Arctic.
     Skiing out my back door.

   Up until 15 years ago I did lots of cross country skiing. Clothing had become somewhat high tech. We skied hard enough to keep warm. Ruby always had a thermometer on her back back. I remember one morning it was minus 27 F. 

    Well , this week I couldn't find my fleece lined underwear. Couldn't find my felt boots. My kamiks had been sold in the summer. I think I'm going to have to suck it up, get out there and enjoy myself and forget that I'm an old man!