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Every single time it starts to get cold outside, l am a walking massive human kvetch, acting as if it's my first time living through a Canadian winter.

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Whenever Rebecca Eckler sees the first snowfall, unlike many who kvell over the calm beauty, she is “the exact opposite.” (Photo Marty Gold)

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I may be in my forties, but I act much more like an 80 year-old. I know. I know. Anyone who is 80-plus years old would kvetch they would love to go back in time and be in their forties again. But, hear me out. 

Sometimes I have much more in common with seniors. I don’t mind eating dinner at 5 p.m. I like going to bed early. I love meeting for lunch at United Bakery (Who doesn’t kvell over their pea soup, tuna and their Greek salad?) I love Bingo. I love water aerobics! 

I’m not at the stage, yet, where I have to pee 18 million times a day — not to point out any names, but my mother, Susan, whenever she comes over and just before leaving, will pee in my daughter’s washroom upstairs, while my dad, Lorne, pees in my main floor washroom. And then my mother will come down and, no joke, will announce she better “go one more time,” on the ground floor, exactly 120 seconds after she had just peed upstairs. This is why I will never go on a road trip with them, or any long drive. 

I’m still at the stage where I can “hold it in,” like a child. I do not magically bring out a tissue from my sleeve and have never offered anyone a “hard candy.” I am also always cold, which is why I cried just a little last week, when I found myself walking outside one night and had to put a winter hat on.

I’m not truly happy unless the temperature is at least 82 Fahrenheit outside, with a mix of sun and cloud, and maybe a light breeze. (Is it just me or did that last sentence sound like a very specific order you would hear in Starbucks?) If it weren’t for my kids, who I kind of like, and having to work, that pays for my kids, who I kind of like, I would be a snowbird, hightailing out of Canada to someplace warm for six months, missing most of the Canadian winter. 

I was born in Canada. I have lived here, aside from a few months living in Maui, one year, a couple of months in Scottsdale one year, and a couple of years in New York. Yet every single time it starts to get cold outside in Canada, l am a walking massive human kvetch, acting as if it’s my first time living through a Canadian winter. 

I kvell over pre-covid snowbirds who, for the first time in maybe years and years, are staying put in Canada. Along with Canadian winter temperatures, we will also live through slush, clunky winter boots, heavy coats you never know where to put and are annoying to hold, having to take your shoes off when entering someone’s house, a personal kvetch, because under whatever shoes or boots I may be wearing, there’s a high probability that my socks won’t match. 

Also, everyone needs to take extra caution so you don’t slip on black ice. Every single winter, for almost my entire life, I have had one embarrassing and awkward fall, after slipping on ice, so much so, I consider slipping on ice, with an audience, a tradition. Last winter, I slipped in the middle of a cross walk in Yorkville. That was fun. Not. Thankfully I wasn’t hurt. And, though I was mortified, I kvelled, “Well, Eckler, at least you got your ice slip over this winter!” 

And if that is the one and only thing I can kvell about winter, that shows just how much I kvetch about the weather slowly, slowly becoming more Autumn-Like, and yes, the changing leaves are sort of pretty, but we all know what comes next.

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When the weather dips under 18 degrees Fahrenheit, I act like most first time mothers, including me when I had my daughter, as if we were the first people in the world to get pregnant and have a baby. 

Of course I know snow will be coming soon enough, yet whenever I see the first snowfall, unlike many who kvell over the calm beauty, I’m the exact opposite. I sob — SOB! — when I see the first snowfall of the season, again acting like I haven’t lived or seen snow before and I’m an alien who landed in Canada and looked at snowflakes, studying them as I were wondering if snow is poisonous or not. I’m always surprised by my surprise, when it gets cold, snow falls, and suddenly I’m wearing heavy winter boots. 

I suppose if I was into winter activities, like skiing and snowboarding, maybe I wouldn’t hate the winters so much. My daughter is an avid and very talented skier — a kvell! – and when I really think about it, her dad does winter activities with her – skiing, snowboarding, heli-skiing, long hikes — and I take care of warm weather activities, like swimming, surfing, wake-boarding, bike riding or, pretty much any other activity that doesn’t require much equipment and usually takes place in a tropical environment. Her father owns a place in Aspen. I have a place in Mexico. I have no idea when the next time I’ll be saying, “Puedo tomar una Coca-Cola light con mucho hielo?” which translates into, “Can I have a Diet Coke with a lot of ice?” just like so many snowbirds, stuck here.

In Canada, a winter storm can involve freezing icy winds, broken tree branches, shoveling heavy wet snow, and a Hydro crew in your back lane fixing a broken electrical line lying in the slush. (Photo Marty Gold)

I will add one more kvetch and that kvetch is February. I’m really worried about that month, if they don’t open the borders by then. I hate February, a month I always get the hell out of dodge to Mexico, so I don’t weep and feel like I have PMS for 28 days. 

My fingers and toes are crossed that travelling will be safe by then, or I will not be able to leave my bed because, f**k February, the one month that makes me so depressed I just want to hibernate under my covers. In fact, can someone out there sedate me, so I’m asleep for all of February? (Anyone?)

I am kvelling that the weather last week and this week, in the day, have been beautiful, and I’m soaking up as much sunshine as I can, working in my “outdoor office,” which is just a fancier way of me sitting in my back yard working on patio furniture. But now evenings are cooler and I need to layer, which I find so uncomfortable, and I must put on a winter hat. I don’t think, “What a beautiful crisp evening for a lovely walk.” I’m all like, “Why the hell do I live in this country?” And, “I can’t wait to be a snowbird.” So, in many ways, I feel closer to snowbirds than I do people my own age.

And a kvell that my boyfriend’s mother lives in a wonderful retirement home — A KVELL to staff at VIVA who offer wonderful experiences, including Bingo once a week. They don’t allow visitors yet, but, if the borders don’t open, hopefully, the doors of Viva will, so I will be allowed to go inside to play Bingo every Wednesday. And then eat dinner at 5 p.m.

Rebecca Eckler is the Executive Editor of SavvyMom.ca. Her latest book is Blissfully Blended Bullshit.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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