A Turtle With Snow On Its Shell

Winnipeg gets its name from a Cree word meaning ‘Muddy Water.’ Another name, one I like better and also comes from Indigenous history, is ‘Turtle Island.’  It suits this city as we like to move at a slow pace in regards to everything. Ever wonder how Winnipeg can move even slower than a turtle? Dump a bunch of show and watch drivers forget how to drive in winter. (Cyclist, on the other hand, add layers and keep going.)

I went to bed seeing grass on the ground, the sidewalks bare, except for the ice from the sleet we got on Sunday. Today, I woke up, looked outside, and saw parts of the nearby condo obscured by snow, snow still falling thick and blinding. After mumbling a sleepy ‘f*ck,’ I turned around to got ready for my day.

The kind of snow we had last week, maybe two I lose track, had large flakes falling gently to the ground. It looked like someone took a snowglobe, turned it upside down, then turned it right side up, the flakes falling at a measured, almost leisurely pace. This kind of weather? A toddler has discovered the snowglobe, shakes it violently, turns it upside down, shakes it violently again, then shakes it side to side for a giggle.

That’s what I saw outside the window at lunchtime.

Us Winnipeggers have lots to say about #mbstorm on Twitter. We bitch about winter, even the most optimistic of this city. You can’t fault us for having a sense of humour about it:

There’s Trevor Dineen from CBC Radio, a man with quick fingers and a quick wit like this one:



Inevitably, two major pop-culture places pop up on social media regarding heavy snowfall and Winnipeg: Hoth from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Westeros from Game of Thrones. I already mentioned the Stark motto, Winter is Coming, should be on our welcome signs instead of ‘One Great City.’ We are one great city alright, one great city for quips about the  weather:

It’s like Mother Nature took a look around and thought doesn’t look Christmas-y enough. Needs snow and lots of it. Then *boink!* here comes all the snow Winnipeg didn’t get in November. As for the cold, weather like this doesn’t register a windchill yet, it’s coming this Thursday. It’s never just -25, that’s reasonable. It’s -25, but with the windchill, it feels like -35 degrees Celsius. Cue the swearing about the cold muffled under thick scarves.

While I mentioned swearing, complaining, and whining regarding the weather, Winnipeggers do puff up with pride they will still bundle up and head outside. Things could be worse, we may still live down a blizzard that called in the army. Right, Toronto?

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