Monday, December 29, 2014

Living in Canada by Natasa Vretenar

Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to live in a warm climate. I dreamt of hot deserts and tropical paradises. I longed for our summer trips to the Adriatic sea, and soaked up all the sunshine I could when we had warm weather. I lived in the Southwest USA for 20 years, and I find it a bit ironic I ended up living in Edmonton. It has been two and a half years now and I have learned to deal with cold weather better. Aside from buying the warmest jacket and boots I could find, there are a few things I had to learn along the way in order to make my existence more bearable in long winter months. Here is a 10 things about cold climate list I live by:

1. If there is a clear day with clean roads - use it! Work out outside,  go to the art supply store, buy groceries or anything else you need, run to the post office etc. You never know if tomorrow will bring more snow or icy rain. Icy rain - that is definitely the bane of my existence!
2. Buy extra food for the pantry and other essential supplies (toilet paper). If you run out on a snow day, it may be a problem to go to the store. 
3. -20 deg C is not cold
4. Be physically active every day and look at #3!
5. Make your home simple, cozy and comfortable, as you spend a lot of time indoors. Maintenance is so much harder in a cold climate. I hate shovelling snow 8 months out of the year and that is why I live in a condo. 
6. Take vitamin D supplements. 
7. Everything takes longer - overnight mail delivery may mean 2-3 days. Plan in advance.
8. Leave the house early if you need to be somewhere on time. 
9. Be prepared for bad weather and bugs at the outdoor art shows in the summer. Long sleeves and pants, bug spray and lots of water are a must.
10. Perfect the Geisha walk.

I love living in Edmonton - it has been a great place for the kids and for us so far. We met so many wonderful new friends and explored this beautiful province we live in. Alberta is simply majestic. I am grateful that we got to live in so many amazing places throughout  years. We just embrace winter and have lots of fun in the snow. 

I am trying to capture a glimpse of its beauty and am embarking on yet another series of paintings of snow scenes! In the mean time here is a painting I did a few years back of Taos mountains.

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