December 8, 2011

Great, It’s Winter!

myriam fontaine

Myriam Fontaine giddy with joy in the winter snow.

[Editor's Note: This blog post is in response to Laura Bonikowsky's post, "Winter Blahs," in which she argues against the joys of winter. This blog post is also available in French.]

Dear Laura,

I just read your words on winter and was very surprised. You? You, my friend from Alberta don’t like winter? You, who we all know has so much energy……sitting by the fire looking out at the frozen trees and sighing? What’s wrong with this picture? Laura, Laura…Laura! You, whose pure white dogs, yes completely white like….snow, have such great fun outside teasing each other in the snow banks while the great northern wind blows …from the east …er, the west, and you don’t like it? I’m flabbergasted.

Laura, I don’t believe that you are a failure as a Canadian. Quite the opposite, you are the norm…and that is what’s wrong, because you are unique. You always stand out. No one can equal your quick wit; you are far from the standard stereotype, and still you don’t like winter? The world is upside down.

Far be it from me to convince you to like this beautiful season. I will just give you a list of reasons why I love winter. It’s up to you my friend, and if we weren’t so far apart… I would say “Come and join me. The terrace of the little cafe near our home is open. You’ll be given a blanket and will be able to warm your sweet little face while sipping your very dark hot chocolate with homemade coffee-flavoured marshmallows”.

Reasons why I love winter:

  1. No exposed bellies
  2. No flip-flops
  3. No disgusting sunscreen
  4. No noise from lawnmowers
  5. No noise from the neighbours
  6. Everyone has the same silhouette in a parka…the slender and the not so slender, children and the elderly. We all look alike.
  7. Red cheeks look good
  8. Cashmere….what a great invention, in pastels if possible
  9. The pleasure of warming up after being cold
  10. The joy of children playing “The lion on top of the mountain”
  11. Winter sports at dusk (at 4:00 in the afternoon)
  12. A simple walk in the cold is cardio.
  13. Real food: stews, hearty soups, maple syrup desserts, creamy chocolate.
  14. The noise of snow plows at 4:00 in the morning, their lights twinkling in the darkness.
  15. The joy of telling children that school is closed because of a storm.
  16. We speak less to say nothing when our mouths are frozen.
  17. Mitts can be used as a handkerchief.
  18. The brightness that can change an everyday landscape into a beautiful one.

And so Laura, I leave you with this little song by Robert Charlebois, who is part of your “crying the blues about winter” club. Ah! I forgot to thank you for the lovely scarf you knitted for me. Don’t worry, I take it out every day with great pleasure (photo above).

Cheers from Québec, my friend, xx
Myriam

(In this clip Charlebois tells how he will be going south to enjoy the sun and the beaches….)

[Translated by Susan Spier]

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. What a response: bravo! I confess, I swing back and forth (like the mercury in Nova Scotia frisking around freezing point – now snow, now rain, now sleet, now drizzle – oh, now freezing drizzle!) on my opinion of winter. But I am greatly enjoying this exchange of opinions. And #13′s argument for winter food is certainly persuasive – as are many of the other reflective, funny, joyful items. Thanks to you both.

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  2. [...] received endless advice on how to turn my chilly frown upside down. My dear friend Myriam provided a list of reasons to like winter and the comments on Twitter have ranged from friendly (@ChrissyScorpio: ”Canada = beauty in [...]

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  3. [...] received endless advice on how to turn my chilly frown upside down. My dear friend Myriam provided a list of reasons to like winter and the comments on Twitter have ranged from friendly to downright maniacal. So I’m going to [...]

    Reply
  4. [...] received endless advice on how to turn my chilly frown upside down. My dear friend Myriam provided a list of reasons to like winter and the comments on Twitter have ranged from friendly to downright maniacal. So I’m going to [...]

    Reply

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About Myriam Fontaine

Myriam Fontaine has studied literature and history at the University of Montreal and McGill University. She likes the challenge and satisfaction of making the French language enjoyable. Myriam is an experienced French teacher to both Anglophones and Francophones and is proficient at translating and editing texts and publications. She is also an author of children's stories. Myriam Fontaine a poursuivi des études universitaires (Université de Montréal et Université McGill) en littérature et en histoire. Sa mission a toujours été de minimiser les difficultés de la langue française, et surtout de la faire aimer. Elle traîne dans ses bagages une solide expérience, de l'enseignement du français, langue première et langue seconde, de la traduction à la révision et à l'édition. Elle est aussi auteure, entre autres, de livres pour enfants.

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