North of 60

To a Canadian,

you need to be north of 60° N latitude to be “in the north.” Canadians understand when you say, “I’m going north of 60.”

To a far north northerner, though, that’s south. You can wear shorts until it’s -20. Not an exaggeration. I’ve actually seen this.

But, to anyone in the southern US, for instance, that’s where Pere Noel lives. Going outside is for polar bears and reindeer.

I am “north of 60,” but I’m too far south for polar bears and reindeer. They aren’t a part of my landscape. And to a far north northerner, I’m a weak little southerner.

It’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?

33 thoughts on “North of 60”

  1. -20C is -4F, and there’s no way I’m going out in shorts in that cold… or even at all if possible! I’m still north enough, at least, to laugh at the southerners who have to put a jacket on if it gets below 70 F and who fear snow and ice like poisonous spiders…

    1. Hahaha. 🙂 I used to live in Phoenix so I’ve been on both ends of this spectrum and understand what you mean.

      I think I stood staring with my jaw on my chest when I first saw the shorts-and-snow-boots fashion ensemble. I’ve since seen it a number of times. Still not a look I enjoy. 🙂

  2. It really is a matter of perspective. In Florida this time of year, when there can be sporadic days at 60 degrees (15c), people put on bulky winter sweaters and wear a jacket outdoors. On the other hand, in Chicago if it goes to that temperature, we’re slipping on shorts and sandals. Floridians really do get thin blood. I feared I wouldn’t be able to handle the cold when I moved back, but I’m doing just fine. 😉

    1. It seems your body retained a good “winter memory.” I lived in Phoenix for year to do some intensive flight training. I didn’t miss the snow much but there wasn’t much seasonal definition either – felt a bit strange. I found it funny that the locals would feel cold when it was what I would define as comfortable. Like you, I like having seasons. 🙂

  3. Perspective is the reason I suppose. We were on holidays once in November in Hawaii doing all the usual things, snorkeling and so on. A young girl who worked in a restaurant there said, she hated November because it was so cold! We thought that was hilarious.

  4. It’s all about acclimation. I’m from North Carolina. We have all four seasons most years. This year, we lost Autumn the first week of this month.

    I moved to Texas in 2002. I thought I was going to die. Central Texas heat is tough. I was there for nine years and saw one real snow & two ice storms. That was it. It took me two years to get used to feeling like a ham baking in an oven. U of A Longhorn students wore flip flops year ’round. I never could wear my very nice, warm leather jacket.

    When I moved back to NC, I was shivering @ 70°F for a while. 🙄

    1. It’s really what we get used to, isn’t it? I love your image of a ham baking in an oven. I lived in Phoenix for a year and felt the same way. Just roasting, especially the summer. I wanted to go in the air conditioning and never come out. When people complained that it was “chilly” I thought it was comfortable.

  5. Our country is bloody massive. I consider Edmonton- North,lol, even though I know its really not. But then I grew up outside of Vancouver so everything is north to me!

    1. Yes, our country is massive, and even many Canadians don’t realise how much north there is. I remember the first time I flew north by myself from Medicine Hat to Yellowknife – it took two days. And there’s so much more north beyond Yellowknife!

  6. I love the views, without question, but I think that’s way too far North for me! I was born at 37° and then moved to 42°. That may not seem like a lot, but it works out to be from a USDA zone hardiness 9 way down to a 5, so that’s a big jump. People who can withstand the extreme cold (or heat!) have my utmost respect! I’m just not made of that strong of stuff. 🙂

    1. 37° is very comfortable and temperate. My home is in the Okanagan Valley of B.C., and because it’s quite deep, it’s also very temperate. I’ll be returning permanently when I finish up work here. Those temperate areas are really great.

      I lived in Phoenix and found the summer heat to be so oppressive, like one of the other commenters said about Texas, “like a ham baking in an oven.” Here, of course, it’s like a ham in a deep freezer. 😉

  7. “You can wear shorts until it’s -20. “–no you can’t. You wear cold-weather pants, thermals, a heavy coat, ear muffs with hand and foot warmers.

    But then, I live in Southern California.

  8. I love the geo perspective. Never thought of it like that. Here in the states its either north or south, east or west coast. Having lived in Chicago and Florida, I now follow the temperate climate as much as possible by nomadic living. Extremes are unpleasant. Cheers.

  9. As The Hinoeuma mentions, we have the Texas phenomenon of some young folks/hipsters who wear flip-flops 365 days a year, even when the temperature drops well below freezing. Not because it’s comfortable but because they don’t dare violate their trendy dress code…. 😉

    1. Hahaha. 🙂

      Hence, the north produces the shorts and snow boots combination, usually worn with an open Canada Goose parka. Great runway fodder; the subject of fashionistas the north over. 😉

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