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"Command start" your day!

When it is 43 [degrees] C below with a slight wind and bright sunshine peeking over the horizon revealing the ice fog hanging over the downtown core of Yellowknife, one wonders about even venturing outside. It must be the sun or the hot coffee, but one slowly gets around to starting the day. An advantage we have, assuming the propane or fuel oil tank is not frozen, is that the house is still warm and hopefully so is the office. As you get bundled up in down-filled parkas, wind pants, insulated boots or mukluks and head off to work, some of us become more complacent and push the remote starter button allowing the vehicle to warm up. This only works if you remember to plug in your truck the night before which would allow it to start in the first place. Once you arrive at work and have passed out the ration of electric heaters to allow the offices to remain at a comfortable temperature, you commence the day passing around communal sweaters and hoping that the landlord remembered to turn off the air conditioning.

As you begin your day of practicing law and talking to people in the south, the first thing they ask you is "how cold is it, and how could you possibly live there?" As you talk to clients or colleagues in the north, they also comment on the weather -- either complaining, commenting on the great sunrise, or breathing an audible sigh that it has "warmed" up to -30 [degrees] C. If one of the client files requires a court appearance, you are in a conundrum as to whether it would be appropriate to attend the courthouse in snow pants and fur hat or change into more presentable attire. The problem being that snow pants are a little bit difficult to get in and out of and, as you need dress shoes to go with your suit, you have to decide what is appropriate footwear for the trek there and back. You also have the added problem of wearing a fur hat which causes a "very bad hair day" and should you go without a hat, you very quickly develop a post-nasal drip which requires bringing wads of Kleenex to your court application.

Darkness seems to be a pervasive factor, especially in the dead of winter after a brilliant sunrise has turned into a cloudy overcast sky with the threat of snow. Remember that it is not "really cold" because it is a "dry cold" which is somehow warmer, so you continue on with the day. But it is still dark!

The change of seasons in the north is fast and furious. You go from the dry cold to a brilliant spring day with melting snow which quickly develops into a summer of long endless days where you wonder if you really want to work at all. Your surroundings soon change to the colours of fall, with blustery winds and dark skies. As winter arrives, you approach another season of plugging in vehicles, square tires, and freeze ups.

On occasion you may travel south and work in the normal environment of rush-hour traffic, appropriate modes of dress, and trekking through slush. When you return on the Mainlinersked (scheduled air service from the south), you are always happy to be home in this unforgiving environment thinking "how can those people be happy working and living down there?"
COPYRIGHT 2001 Legal Resource Centre of Alberta Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Williams, Jack R.
Publication:LawNow
Date:Dec 1, 2001
Words:570
Previous Article:Lawyers in a cold climate.
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