I’m sorry I didn’t post anything yesterday—I couldn’t type because my fingers were frozen:

Don’t mind me, though: they thawed out once I chopped down the tree outside, stuffed it in my fireplace, doused it in lighter fluid and let ‘er rip. Child’s play, really.

In my Canadian literature class, I’m reading some excerpts from Roughing It in the Bush, by an early Canadian settler, Susanna Moodie.  The opening lines of her narrative include this theory, which I found particularly prophetic:

“In most instances, emigration is a matter of necessity….  Few educated persons, accustomed to the refinements and luxuries of European society, ever willingly relinquish those advantages, and place themselves beyond the protective influence of the wise and revered institutions of their native land, without urgent case.  Emigration may, indeed, generally be regarded as an act of severe duty, performed at the expense of personal enjoyment…”

I know, I know.  It sounds like a whole lot of blather.  [This is what I have to put up with every day.  Seriously.]  Since I’m majoring in English, and because it’s my job, I will now attempt to decipher Ms. Moodie’s words, and translate them into present-day lingo:

“Almost without fail, people who move to Canada do it because they have to. No self-respecting person with half a brain would leave their nice, warm countries willingly, just so they could traipse through the freaking barren wasteland with nothing but the shirt on their backs, unless they were in dire straits. Generally speaking, emigration is a last resort, and a total drag at that.”

Okay, Canadians: before you get all huffy, just keep in mind that Susanna Moodie said these things, not me.  I was just sitting there, minding my own business and reading my assigned chapters, when suddenly BAM!  The aforementioned lines jumped off the page and bit me in the nose (figuratively speaking).

Of course, she might have written them, but I can’t say that I deny her words, either.  In fact, she’s actually got a really good point:  I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be living here now if I had any (seriously…any) other option.  It’s a beautiful country; it really is.  I like the people, I like my neighborhood, I like the government, I like the free health care…

…But I don’t like the cold.  And it’s really cold.

See there, under “Tonight?”  It reads, “Bitterly cold.”  Bitter. Cold.  Even the weather channel can’t deny it.

And I know, I talk about it all the time.  I’m sorry, truly.  I’ll stop talking about it when my brain defrosts and can think of something else to say.

About Camille

I’m Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello.

You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.

This entry was posted in Canada, It's All Good, oh brother what next and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Ch-Ch-Ch-Chatter.

  1. Anonymous says:


    I TRULY cannot even imagine that. Unreal. Just unreal. Please don’t have any children from October to April, because I’m going to come help you take care of them, and I don’t think I could handle being there during that cold, cold time. Ok, have kids whenever you want. You know I’ll still come. But I’m going to stay inside the whole time.

  2. Geneva says:

    I hope you defrost sometime. How is the wind? I handled 0 degrees pretty well, but wind chill is of the devil. I don’t do wind.

  3. Susanna sounds a bit haughty.
    On the other side of the coin, my grandparents came to Canada, from Scotland, and England, for the same reasons many have emigrated to our friend nation south of the 49th….that being, prosperity, a new life in a developing nation, a chance to be more than one could in the old country. To settle and harness the rich resources of a vast, free wilderness.

    Since i’ve never lived anywhere but here, the cold doesn’t bother me. I actually find the summers insufferably hot. Like Adell, i cannot possibly imagine a climate i’m so unfamiliar with, let’s say, in my case, Arizona. Seriously, i think my head would explode in that heat.
    (Not that it doesn’t do so periodically anyway, with little rhyme or reason.)

  4. So, g’head, talk about the cold. Grousing about the weather is a revered Canadian pastime. When in Rome……

  5. Whitney says:

    You poor thing!! Thats too cold! Come home, Come Home!

  6. Lauren says:

    I am so sad for you. It makes me want to warm my feet and hands, in proxy for you.

  7. Holly Decker says:

    i love your translation.
    perhaps if people like YOU wrote text books, i just might actually stay awake and get something out of class.
    and um, its hard to write about different things when you are constantly cold and you have to deal with it all day… so i totally understand the fact that you mention weather so frequently.
    (oh my goodness… i wasn’t paying attention and i just spelled frequently- FREAK-LENT-LY. what the heck is wrong with me?)

  8. Camille says:

    Anonymous my sister– I’ll do my best to conceive accordingly.

    Burnt Coolies– I’m glad it didn’t offend. I always worry how much Canadians can take, when it comes to bashing the cold.

    Geneva– Oh, 50 mph or so. Seriously. They even have such things as “wind warnings,” and one happens to be in effect today. Lucky me.

    Whitney– If only I could…

    Lauren– Oh, please do! That would be lovely, by proxy.

    Holly Decker– I would so enjoy my classes if I had written the textbooks. I’d be all like, “And then Emily Dickinson died, and we were all glad because BOR-ING!” Nice.

  9. NobodyNose says:

    Thanks for the translation, I was pretty lost.
    Make some hot chocolate.
    Its good.
    Real Good.
    I’m done.

  10. DeAnna says:

    LoL! Glad to hear you have defrosted nicely! Days where there is that fun wind that is down there I am thankful I live further north, where yes it gets to -38 C or colder in a few months of the year, but that blasted wind is almost non-existent. Enjoy the last twoish months of winter!!

  11. mameelynn says:

    I would think that this has to do with any time you leave all that you know for the unknown. I grew up in Nova Scotia and when I was 13 my family moved out to Alberta. We did it because we wanted a better life and that seemed like the place we were meant to go. I didn’t like the cold when I got out west, in fact the first time it hit -25 my mom told me and my sister to go back to bed because there was no way they would have school when it was so cold out little did we know that a few months later we would be thinking it was warming up when it hit -25…lol 4 years ago I moved away from all that I knew as life in Canada and moved down to Seattle because I had fallen in love with an American. I can’t say I would have moved down here if I had had any other choice but going with your heart sometimes can make your brain stop working….lol I miss Canada loads and wish we could go back up there but then my poor husband would have to leave all that he has ever know… I guess it’s a toss up.. one of us has to leave our home to be together.

  12. Heber says:

    Bitter!? When I first read that forecast, I suspected that you’d altered. That is horrible.

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