A Winter Day

Dear Friends,

How should I break this to you? I think I’ll just be blunt and blurt it out.

Winter Wonderland does not exist. It’s an illusion.

Helsinki, very proud of its snow-how, was in complete chaos today: there was a blizzard. This shouldn’t have come as a surprise, since it’s mid-winter here. But public transport halted as trams slid off their rails and buses off the streets. Tram stops were filled with half of Helsinki, optimistically thinking that if a tram did arrive, they would all fit in.

Those with cars spent ages digging them out of snow, circling around stuck cars and snowy obstacles, and then shoveling snow to free up parking space on arrival.

Pedestrians were blinded in a white blur, slipping on the ice underneath their feet, while heavy chunks of snow fell menacingly from the tops of buildings all around them.

Downtown Helsinki earlier today

Staircases were a snowy slide. Wet socks and runny mascara were the fashion look of the day. Don’t even get me started on trying to push a pram with two babies out there in the snow.

People were late to work and appointments, and some were so shocked by this sudden chaos that they even talked to strangers. (I saw it with my own eyes.) Others were instagramming it.

I missed a doctor’s appointment because I found out the hard way that I had no chance of getting there since the trams weren’t moving. I was also thoughtless enough to have had my favorite suede handbag on me today. My handbag didn’t enjoy the snowfall any more than I did. It now looks like a cat that came in from the rain, sad and grumpy.

Over here in weather like this, you are still expected to go to work, school, and all your normal appointments, and preferably be on time, too. And we do all that just like it’s any other day, nothing out of the ordinary. Except that going from A to B takes up twice as much time as it normally would.

To top it off, tomorrow there’ll be a strike. I’m glad I don’t have to go anywhere!

In all honesty, I can’t say I even think snow is that pretty. It’s just a layer of white, after all! (Why does saying that feel like I’m saying I hate puppies and cupcakes? I don’t, by the way.) It doesn’t change colors or do any magic tricks, like flowers in the summer or a sunset in the sky.

A snowy or frosty tree might look pretty, but wouldn’t that tree also look pretty in the summer, when it actually had some color?

Then there’s the sweating-indoors-freezing-outdoors problem when wearing a warm winter coat. Electric hair reaching towards the roof. Empty wallet from shopping all of those expensive garments and accessories.

Children seemed to love it though: What is this new mountain here in the corner of the street? Have you ever slid down a heap of snow this big? Look how fast I can go – whoooo!

And when Hubby got home from work, he marveled at how pretty the lights next door looked in the snow.

But me, I’m thinking, Spring might arrive in May. A few more months to go. Waiting, waiting… My mantra.

Greener Syndrome. I think I have it, and I just made it up.

I do it all the time: think that the grass is greener elsewhere. Why wouldn’t it be? I’ve been elsewhere. I’ve seen elsewhere. Elsewhere has summer. And I’m a summer person. (A quick web search tells me this syndrome does in fact exist!)

In the meantime, maybe I’ll just stick to my strengths, which include:

  • enjoy the endless pajama party at home with the babies
  • sing songs for the twins (I only know about 2 ½ songs, and one of them is a Christmas song)
  • continue with the fetch-baby-from-potentially-dangerous-place-and-snack-on-chocolate diet
  • eat more chocolate

I think I’ll get through this winter. Blizzards and all.

(To tell you the truth, I am looking forward to when my babies can go out and play in the snow. I’m sure we’ll have lots of fun! And maybe I’ll finally learn to enjoy winter. I’ll morph from a grouch into a winter person. Really, I will. I’ll try.)

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44 responses to “A Winter Day

  1. Had never heard of snowhow… i do like the snow but i guess you can get pretty tired of it after a while (or months of it)… the world stops in southern Europe when it snows, it doesn’t do so in the extreme north. hang in there, spring will come. it always does in the end. and thanks for posting this. it’s nice to know how things go in other lesser known realities

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Bahahahha! This is excellent, you’re in good form. I laughed so much and had to tell amore about it, especially how the Finns talked to strangers. (!) And snow-how is hilarious, and how the cat bag looked like and that you prefer your plants alive. 😀 😀 I wish you a happy waiting and baby-growing!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. But wait! Helsinki ís used to snow in winter isn’t it? Being such a nordic city? What you are telling, the chaos, the public transport problems and all that – we have in the Netherlands as well when it snows. But then – we are nót that used to heavy snowfall. Mostly. I did hold my breath for a second though, watching the picture of Stockmann. I know that corner rather well and before my imaginairy eye city centre unfolds again. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, normally Helsinki is quite good at dealing with whatever the weather gods throw at us (and they do like to throw). For some reason, today things just got out of control. It snowed a lot, in a short amount of time. Happy to hear you could imagine the area around good old Stockmann, the heart of the town 😊 Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well now, this was very interesting. Snow is, of course, not a phenomenon that I am familiar with and I have always wondered how it affects daily life in the colder climates. I do hope you will be doing a follow-up post about “Finns-taking-to-strangers”. Out here in Africa, we natter away in public the whole time; there is always an attentive audience.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Never thought I’d ever read a rant from you, Snow! 😉😂 Not that this post truly IS a rant but it sure almost sounded like one, with a tiny zest of humor and cynicism. Loved it! And who better than you could nail it so perfectly, pictures and all!???
    Good luck on the coming days… and YES, the boys will love it and will have you become a winter mom (in winter! They’ll love summer more!)
    Thinking of you from not so much warmer southern France! Xoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Julie! 😋 Now that the blizzard is over and forgotten, I’m sure a lot of Finns would disagree with me about this post. I’m on my own here! But for me, this is actually what’s behind the whole title of the blog! 😄 So maybe it was about time for a post like this! 😂 And anyway, it was fun to WRITE for a change 😄 I need to think of my next topic, any ideas? Southern France sounds lovely, even in the winter! Bisous!

      Like

  6. The grass is always greener (or snow fluffier/whiter) on the other side of the fence. I’ve been sitting here sweating buckets (possibly melting) in the tropics experiencing winter envy ….I thank you for bringing me back to my senses. Hope you at least got to have done fun in the snow with the babies ☃️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for reading! The babies are too little for winter fun (they fall asleep as soon as we go out) but hopefully next winter! People in warm countries keep telling me how much they love winter, I guess we all occasionally want what we don’t have or think something else could be better! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, if you put it that way *LOL* I must admit that I’m one of those people who fantasized snow for a long time… until I got stuck once because of a snow storm. I love the humour in this piece xox

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m with ya! I went back north for the weekend and got snowed on and cold and all that stuff I’d almost forgotten since my move. It wasn’t so bad for 72 hours, but I sure am glad I did move over to the greener side! You’re next!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That would be nice! If it were up to me, I’d relocate my family to someplace sunny with fresh fruit and laid-back people! But suddenly there are so many more factors to consider. Maybe one day! (I used to be a doer, now I’m a person who says maybe 😄 Oh well.) At least I have my two cutiepies here to keep me smiling! 😊 Thanks Lexi for your encouragement! I can imagine how relieved you must’ve been to return to your new, warmer home!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s just your life stage. I stayed for so many years because of all those other factors, too. And the cutiepies were both a reason to stay where we were and a consolation! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh, Snow! I have so many things to say to this post. You and I definitely should do a home swap at some point in our lives! You made me laugh, and you also made me yearn for the white stuff and yes, even for the sweating indoors/freezing outdoors feeling, electric hair, bundles and bundles of clothing hoisted up and a freezing behind, when you have to use a public toilet . I just love all of it. Even though it is not so easy to get around. I also had to chuckle that Finns are talking to strangers!! Now you have to admit that is a good thing about the winter wonderland? I totally refuse to let you change my mind about winter!! The winter wonderland does exist!!! My dreams and winter memories are built on it!! But then does this mean that the grass is whiter somewhere else? – for me?. Do I have a snowy syndrome? Oh wait, isn’t that called a ‘chinophile’ or something like that?
    As for having 2.5 songs, check out pinterest or kids’ programs on TV. There are great ideas for more songs there. Believe me, you will grow to hate those two songs, unless you find more.
    Loved your post!! And felt cooler looking at your pictures. I have had the aircon on full blast this summer. Hang the expense, I can’t cope with the heat anymore!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahah, thanks Amanda for making me laugh, too! You must have the “whiter syndrome” for sure! How good that our paths have crossed, besides learning from each other we should definitely do the home swap one day ! I’m in!!! 😂

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