Up here in the Great Frozen North you have to buy: winter coats, winter boots, leggings, scarves, gloves, mitts, hats, anti-freeze, snow shovels, sleds & skis (if you are stupid enough to actually go out in the snow) and a survival kit for the car. The survival kit is essential in case you get lost in a blizzard, begin nodding off and they find one dumb Canadian popcicle behind the driver's seat. Eh? It happens every year.
My winter consists of me running to and fro from the car into a store or house. I see winter in a bit of a blur as I frantically hurry to get somewhere warm as soon as possible. If I could do it, I would never leave the house from November to March.
When I moved to Canada from California, I didn't even own a pair of boots. I went out the door to go to work one day with my sandals on and lo and behold there was four feet of snow on the ground. I had no money to buy boots, so my boyfriend at the time bought me some. He ended up being my first husband and I made him pay for Everything after that!
I remember my first pair of gloves. I was at the mall and saw these darling black, thin, leather racing gloves hanging from a rack. I tried them on and fell in love. I bought them and soon found out I might as well have worn nothing on my hands. The gloves had holes where the knuckles were. My knuckles were red, chaffed and swollen all winter. I finally realized I had made a mistake. These were summer/autumn gloves.
I didn't buy scarves so my neck was cold. Women didn't wear pants to work back then so my legs were cold. I had to take a bus everywhere so I was just cold, cold, cold. I used to buy a coat in the fall because they were on sale for like $10. I didn't realize there were autumn coats, spring coats and winter coats. I just thought I had to wear a coat period so every winter I bought a summer coat. When my grandmother moved back up to Canada, she took one look at my thin coat and said she was going to buy me an actual winter coat. I was warm for the first time in five years.
This is the coat Grandma bought me. I loved it! My oldest daughter Sandy learned to skate that year.
No, I am not the brightest bulb in the package, and California absolutely wrecked me for Canada.