After weeks of strange and at times teasing weather, we have had our first blizzard of the season. All fall we have been hearing about how strange the weather has been this year, so warm and sunny, fall seemed to go on forever. Then we started to get a little snow, light dustings to frost the land but it didn't seem to stay. There was always a day or two of nice, warm weather that seemed to chase the snow away. I found myself getting excited for snow whenever there was a hint of dark clouds on the horizon thinking "finally, we are going to get our blizzard" only to be disappointed with a small flurry. It may seem strange to some, to be avidly hoping for a blizzard, but it is a part of living in the north that I have been looking forward to. Being raised in Canada, in an area that typically gets its fair share of snow in the winter, snow is a major part of my winter memories. Having spent winters in different countries that didn't get much snow (little if any), and finding myself becoming giddy and silly when we received the lightest dusting, I realized how much of a Canadian girl I am.
Back to Inukjuak. After a passing a lazy Sunday afternoon nursing a stubborn cold I was delighted to see the wind and snow picking up outside my window. I quickly checked the weather report and grinned when I saw that we were under blizzard and wind watch for the next few days. Now I do not always believe the weather man as he can be cruel teasing teachers with the possibility of a snow day and then not delivering, however I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt again. I settled in for the night listening to the wind howl around my house and peeking outside to see how much snow was moving around outside. The secret to a real blizzard is the right combination of snow and wind to get the whiteout that one is hoping for. By bedtime it was looking very good indeed, but there is always the possibility that a storm can blow itself out during the night. The next morning I woke to the sound of wind still howling around my house. When I peeked outside my window a huge grin appeared on my face, I could barely see a thing. Still I got ready fro school, just in case. I usually check my email while eating breakfast keeping an eye on the school, that most mornings I can see clearly from my window. Today was not one of those mornings, I knew it was there, fuzzy outline of it most of the time, but I was not looking forward to walking to class against the wind. Happily I did not have to. Administration called a blizzard day! YAY!!
It was such a quiet day. All the normal sounds of the town were missing. There were no snow machines or ATVs buzzing down the streets. No water or sewage trucks rumbling past. Even the dogs were quiet as they buried down to sleep out the storm. The wind howled and the house shook but it still felt quiet, like you were tucked in a safe place. Perfect for napping, and I am not ashamed to say that I indulged in this afternoon. I even had a pot of my dad's tomato beef stew on the stove simmering throughout the day, or at least my version of dad's stew. That is one thing I do miss about my parent's home in the winter, the soups and stews we enjoyed. Students are always hoping for blizzard days so that they can have a day off from class, never dreaming that their teachers may just want the same thing once in awhile as well. I had a very good day enjoying my first blizzard day in the arctic. Almost bedtime and the wind is still blowing, not much snow flying anymore but I checked the weather network again and we are still under a blizzard watch so who knows what tomorrow will bring.