Winnipeg has a nickname here in Canada. New York is the Big Apple. New Orleans is the Big Easy. Winnipeg is Winterpeg. We crossed the border between Ontario and Manitoba and the temperature dropped! My. Oh. My. It's cold. But, what the heck, we're Canadians. We know how to dress for cold. We've got gloves, and toques and think warms coats. We've got what we need to keep warm on the coldest of days. The Weather Channel had told us to prepare for minus thirty weather, so we did.
Do you know how cold a wheelchair frame can get after being in minus thirty weather for only two seconds. The answer would be minus a bazillion. The first time I transferred out of the car and into the chair I thought the thing had been electrified. It was so cold it felt hot. Searing pain gripped my hips and legs and I thought I'd been put in the electric chair and had the switch thrown. Yikes. And yikes again.
I wear gloves to push my wheelchair. I state that with a bit of exhaustion - maybe the most often asked question I have about wheelchair use is why I wear gloves - people get shoes, why are gloves a leap of imagination. Anyways, whining aside, I can only push a few feet before my hands are completely frozen. My gloves are made for pushing, not warmth, and whereas I can push myself a fair distance typically, here in Winterpeg from here to there where the distance is actually from |here to there| without my fingers going blue.
So, it's going to be a quiet week here in Winterpeg. The lectures start Monday and run for four days. The rest of this weekend and next weekend are going to be determined by how close we can get to a building and how long it takes to get into it. At least that's our plan for now. My guess is that what will happen is what happens when people face new and seemingly huge barriers - all embracing cold being one of them - we will adapt. We will find ways to do what we want to do.
At least that's what I hope happens.
Because right now, at the thought of going out, even my chair shivers!