It's All About the Snow

For us winter is all about snow.

When you live in Canada you either move to the coastal regions where the climate is more mild (there's a good reason why so many Canadians love the west coast), you stay put and complain like heck (oh my goodness do Canadians ever like to kvetch about the cold), or you bloom where you're planted (so to speak, as nothing blooms in winter).

We are members of the third grouping. I grew up on the Canadian prairie at the same latitude of Moscow, Russia. I now live in a more mountainous, treed and southern (barely) latitude and I consider that an improvement. Yes, it's cold but not as cold as Alberta. There are mountains (nothing like the rockies though) and best of all there's snow. Because frankly winter is not worth living without snow.

Tomorrow is the official first day of winter and Solstice. But we have been enjoying and living winter ever since the snow fell. Last week we started skiing.

We got an e-mail this week from friends in Maine, where apparently there isn't much snow. "We need to come north. There's no snow here. Want to go on a backcountry ski trip together next week?"

We aren't able to pull off a backcountry ski trip a few days after Christmas but we can host a ski vacation right from our home. One day at the ski hill where we live. A day in the backcountry. Snowshoeing and sledding right from our door. Bring it on.

Our intention ever since we moved into this home was to share it. And now we will. We're thrilled.

Ski where you're planted.

Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.

  • Michelle

    Michelle on Dec. 20, 2012, 2:40 p.m.

    Yes Renee, as a fellow Canadian, albiet from Saskatchewan, I agree. People love complaining about the weather. Not us! We love it. If it is going to be cold and snowy for 6 months of the year, no sense griping about it. I love the quote "There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes." or something like that. We have snow shoes and cross country skis are new to us this year. Of course which Saskatchewan family doesn't have a toboggan or two? Enjoy your Christmas season Renee.


  • Vânia

    Vânia on Dec. 20, 2012, 3:33 p.m.

    Lucky you!:) We are waiting for snow, but I guess it won't come soon...

    Enjoy it!

    (happy Christmas for you and family)


  • Johanna Hanson

    Johanna Hanson on Dec. 20, 2012, 3:46 p.m.

    I'm with you. Having lived in New England before and then the northern midwest, I now miss not having snow... Someday maybe we'll live where we get it. ;) Beautiful, beautiful!


  • Sarah M

    Sarah M on Dec. 20, 2012, 4:09 p.m.

    We live in Nebraska, which just means it's hotter than Hades (and 100% humidity to boot!) for 4 months, and for 4 months we're buried under snow and frigid wind chills below zero. Spring and Fall are just about perfect. Last night, we got our first (late) snowfall of the year, and the kids were thrilled. We all went out for about an hour an a half, shoveling and playing. Warming with popcorn and hot chocolate is just part of the fun. My husband is from Vancouver, and he loves going trekking in the snow with the kids (we take daily 1-2 mile walks with them, rain or shine), and he can never believe the snowfall. He's just like a big kid, since he never grew up with any amount of snow, either! Have fun! Sarah M


  • Melissa

    Melissa on Dec. 20, 2012, 5:18 p.m.

    The snow looks lovely.

    Just a point of clarification for non-Canucks, that most of the population is not on the west coast.The federal census based 'Atlas of Canada' shows a different distribution. The map is at


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 20, 2012, 5:27 p.m.

      I was joking. That's actually a huge exaggeration. I know the east, that belt from GTA and up to Quebec city, is where most people live, but having grown up in Alberta the west coast was "the" lotus land as far as we were concerned. And I do think it's one of the most desirable climates in all of Canada to live in. Although I do find maps like that deceptive. Because if you're actually driving from somewhere like Edmonton to Estavan, SK you don't feel like you're in a highly populated area, though a map like that might lead you to believe otherwise. However, driving into the Fraser Valley you do feel like you're in a populated area, and you are. Though the map doesn't indicate that so well.


  • Kika

    Kika on Dec. 20, 2012, 6:14 p.m.

    Oh, I am in the group of complainers, for sure!!! The cold simply hurts my body and I do feel frustrated by the increase in energy bills and gas for vehicles. But yes, I also recognize what an incredibly beautiful country (politically, economically, geographically, etc.)we live in. I grew up skidooing, skiing, and so forth but just don't like any of these winter sports. I do like taking my kids to the ski or sledding hills so they can have fun, though;)

    Having gone through a period of time where my body wasn't working great I also have a better understanding of why many 'older' folks want to escape the cold for a while over winter.

    Your time with friends looks like great fun.


  • Anonymous

    Anonymous on Dec. 20, 2012, 9:56 p.m.

    I love this. We live in the more northern part of Canada too. We have about 8 inches of snow right now.

    Trying to get out as much as I can, I find the hardest part is with the baby...too big to hide her under the shelter of my coat in a baby carrier anymore, and any sled options that are decent with protection are way out of budget. Its the wind. Her cheeks are all red all the time :( I have tried coating them with coconut oil and we don't stay out for long. But I have the 2 other kids that can stay out much longer. Depends on the day, its been warmer lately but last week we had some -20 celcius days...those are also usually the sun filled ones! Any tips on the baby outside in the cold? I want to get out and enjoy it but the years I've had babies its always been hard, but more of an issue now that the older kids want to go!


  • Lori

    Lori on Dec. 21, 2012, 3:32 a.m.

    We do hope to visit you someday, Renee, but I have to say that winter is not the season we'd try. I love seeing your snow photos (beautiful) from the comfort of my chair next to my fireplace. I think if my husband and 3 kids thought there was an offer to ski with you outside the backdoor of that gorgeous home, and that I was passing, they might disown me. So please, don't tell! Merry Christmas!


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 21, 2012, 1:38 p.m.

      Lori, That fireplace is best enjoyed after some vigorous outdoor activity in the cold, don't you think?! (smile)


  • Sara

    Sara on Dec. 21, 2012, 5 a.m.

    Ohhh, I am basking in your photos! I grew up in New Hampshire and married a man from Florida, making every other Christmas SO not a real Christmas. (I kid. Kind of.) Now we live in Tokyo, and I haven't seen any snow yet this year. In the meantime, I'll drink in as much of yours as I virtually can!


  • Jess

    Jess on Dec. 21, 2012, 6:26 p.m.

    Here in the heart of Michigan we haven't gotten much accumulation, a few flurries but mostly slush. I grew up in a big winter loving family but never enjoyed it much myself until a few years ago I discovered that I LOVE snowshoeing. I'm hoping for lots of white stuff in our neck of the woods this year!


  • Katie

    Katie on Dec. 22, 2012, 4:02 p.m.

    Hi Renee I just discovered your blog on accident a couple nights ago. I sat up reading and pouring over pictures for hours, so long that by the time my eyes were staging a coup, i could no longer remember how I had stumbled onto your posts in the first place. Your ways of homeschooling have inspired me! This winter I have been in the throws of remodeling our homeschool. What you do is so much what my heart has desired to do all this time and never felt confident to pull off. Like I said, you have inspired me and I am so excited to jump in with my sweet little ones on a new adventure, thank you!

    PS... I am having snow envy this morning. We live on the gulf coast near Houston TX, the chances of a "real" snow here is well pretty slim! We were snow bound this week last year in New Mexico on our family ranch. Your snow pictures brought back such fond memories, I think I am made for snow life... NOT palm trees!!! Many wishes for a blessed Christmas! Katie in TX


  • laurenjean

    laurenjean on Dec. 22, 2012, 4:05 p.m.

    Love these winter wonderland pictures. I live in Arizona and its maybe mildly chilly most days lol. And until a few weeks ago we were in the 80's most days!! I am from Wisconsin and i miss the snow and the seasons so much!!


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