|After years in Surrey, my sister Diane and her husband John are experiencing a different kind of winter in their new home in the West Kootenays. This is the scenic road from their place to a restaurant in nearby Winlaw.|
|Diane is using a toque to keep her right hand warm after she broke her wrist.|
|Ice sculptures for a contest put on by a Winlaw restaurant with the unusual name of Sleep is for Sissies.|
Come-from-aways who have acclimatized to the (usually) mild winters of the West Coast always wonder what it would be like to return to the snow and cold of "real" winters in the rest of Canada. My sister Diane and her husband John are having that experience now, after a couple of decades of working and raising their kids in Surrey.
They have no regrets, as the photos they recently sent from their new home in Winlaw in the Kootenays seem to suggest. They can walk down a road bordered by snow-flecked evergreens to a local restaurant to inspect a fine show of ice sculptures. They don't have to worry about being snowed in, as they have their own tractor to clear their driveway. From earlier lives in colder climes, they both know how to dress for the cold -- although Winlaw hasn't actually been much chillier than Vancouver so far this winter.
But there are temptations in the new location that it might have been better to resist. Diane succumbed to the lure of an outdoor skating rink -- the kind we skated on all through our childhood -- and learned that it's not as easy to skate backwards in your 60s as in your teens, especially if you haven't done it for awhile. She broke her wrist on Jan. 3, raising the secondary problem of how to keep a bulky cast warm in a cold climate. The solution? Two toques -- one on your head; one on your hand.
|John and the ice sculptures.|
|Diane, cast, toque and ice sculptures.|
|Another view of the wintry scene outside the restaurant.|
|Diane and John's snow-capped home.|
|The scenery along the road. It's a different world from Surrey.|