What do Northern Prairie Winters and Panama have in common you might ask? To be truthful…. absolutely nothing! As far as seasons go, they are completely opposite. Panama has only two seasons, wet season and dry season. Northern Alberta Canada, however, has four seasons ….. winter, spring, summer and fall. Now depending on where you live in Canada, the length of these seasons can vary. For those of us living in Northern Alberta, the breakdown is something like this. Two months of spring, two months of summer, two months of fall, and six months of winter. While Panama is enjoying their six months of dry season, we are enjoying six months of our winter season where temperatures can get as low as -50C some days. Do you have your answer yet as to what they have in common? Well the answer is…….. the long prairie winters of northern Alberta and the tropical warm weather of Panama are two of the many reasons we chose Panama as our choice for living abroad!!
Well there is no denying it, fall is in the air and before we know it, we will have a layer of white covering our yards and roadways. Like most of the winters I have spent here, it will probably last into April, which of course is six months. But this season I will look at it through different eyes for I know it will be the last full winter season that I will experience for a long, long time if not forever. I will embrace the beauty of that first snow fall with awe and wonder and not with resentment, knowing that with snowfall comes the dreaded cold, cold weather.
There really is a lot of natural beauty that comes with the winter season, like the sun reflecting and twinkling off the snow like diamonds off the snow, and the hoar frost hanging in the air and off trees on a cold crisp sunny morning. A lot of fun can also be had in the winter, like tobagganing, skiing, skating, building snowmen, making forts, and having snowball fights to name a few. These are all activities we enjoyed with our children throughout the years but alas they are all grown up now and pursuing their own lives so winter for us no longer carries the same meaning Winter for us now, simply put, is just too long and cold and so it is time for us to pursue a more permanent tropical climate where the sun shines for 12 hours a day and the heat keeps us warm year round.
So this winter, as the snow falls and the cold weather creeps in, I will sit by the warm fireplace with hot chocolate in hand reflecting on all the good memories this season has has brought me over the years