How to prepare for winter in Saskatchewan:
Bake a pear-cardamom crisp for the annual potluck to say goodbye to your acting teacher before he heads off to Barcelona for the winter.
Find the cat-eared hat that your daughter knit you a few years ago because it is warm against the biting wind. Dig through a basket of gloves, scarves, and other hats to find it. First find the Russian hat that belonged to your grandfather but decide to wait until -30C to wear that one. The cat-eared hat is at the very bottom of the basket.
Bring pear-cardamom crisp out to the car. Make sure not to slip in the icy steps in the sleety snow. Start the car. Pray that the windshield wipers are enough to wipe off the sleet. Sigh in relief that they are.
Arrive at potluck. Hug friends. See people you haven’t seen for years. Meet the new boyfriend of a fellow student and talk to him about music most of the night. Leave by 10 because the sleet has turned to snow and a lot of people at the party have day jobs.
Take leftover pear-cardamom crisp back to the car. See the snow on the car and hope that your mittens can handle wiping the windows because you are not sure if the snow brushes are still in the trunk or if they were stored in the shed for the summer. Soak your mittens clearing the windows.
Drive home with the windshield wipers and heating fans at their highest settings. Drive slowly. Drive carefully.
Put the pear-cardamom crisp in the fridge. Change into your new fleece onesie, fill your hot water bottle, and curl up with a book in bed. Hear the wind rushing against the house. Hear the snow brushing against the windows.
Wake in the morning to the sound of wind. Crawl out of bed and see everything white, everything soft. Hope that you can find the snow shovels before your students arrive so that you can clear a path for them to get to the door. See that your husband has already cleared that path and all you’ll have to do is sweep the walk a bit. Know that you’ll have to dig to find your warmest scarf before you do so.
Wonder if you’ll have time to clean and fill the humidifier before you teach. Winter is hard on the voice.
Eat leftover pear-cardamom crisp for breakfast.
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