Excerpt from “Camp Follower” – Goose Bay

The weather is on my mind. Cold. Still. The following is an excerpt from my book, including the great illustration by Nathan (Caro) Frechette:

goose bay2

“We didn’t think anything about the cold, but I do remember the coldest day of my life. Saturday mornings my father would take a couple of brothers to the arena on base for hockey. I would often go along, because of course it was a fun toboggan ride behind the skidoo. We always called the snowmobiles, or snow machines, by the brand
name, Skidoo. As I said, we lived on the runway, and it was a shorter commute to the facilities part of the base from behind the PMQs on skidoo than to bother warming up the car and taking the roads the long way around. My dad drove the skidoo to work most days. It would always start. So this particular Saturday morning, we all wrapped up, my brothers dressed in hockey gear with big coats over it and boots on and our faces completely swaddled in scarves that my mother had knit, and settled in for the ride to the arena. When we got there, someone in the parking lot waved us over, and said hockey was cancelled because, didn’t we know, it’s 60 below out this morning! What were we thinking, coming in on the skidoo? Funny, I don’t remember it being any colder or different feeling than usual. I guess after 30 or 40 or 50 below, what’s another 10 degrees?”

Want more? Read the Book

3 thoughts on “Excerpt from “Camp Follower” – Goose Bay

  1. I have to agree that winter never bothered us a kids, we were outside during all seasons and made the most of it. Most brats had access to the best opportunities for “playing” whether it be hockey arenas, skating rinks, ski hills, ringette, ice fishing, snow mobiling, snow/ice outdoor competitions as schools kept up with active adventurous brats!
    These days with the global warming effects which became a phenomenon in the 90’s with the “nino’s” I think brats that have followed us and we aging brats are unfortunately experiencing a very different type of winter from our good ole days.
    I prefer a warm fireplace and a warm cider, these days !

  2. The difference as I recall was that Labrador was dry cold – compared to the sloppy dampness of southern Ontario. I remember my eyelashes freezing together – hand to take the mitts off and hold warm fingers on your eyes to thaw the ice.

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