Born and raised in and around St. John's, Newfoundland, I've seen the fog moving in from the Grand Banks over the coastline. That fog can be so thick, it's as if it obscures everything but the tip of your nose.
When I first saw the recent time lapse video of the smog advancing over Beijing, it reminded me of the fog of home. However, that wall of white wasn't as benign as fog. This smog is deadly in its effect on the millions of people in that city. It is easy to take our clean air for granted.
One day recently as I drove to the store in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, the sun was out and the sky was clear. From the car it looked like a lovely winter day, but the appearance belied the reality. The temperature was -16 C and the high wind made it feel like -27 C, (3,-17 F). At ground level, the wind gusts blew the snow around causing drifting in open areas. The walk from the car to the store became a run.
On the way out of the store, I stood with two other seniors, a husband and wife, as the sliding doors opened to the wind. We were blown back by the gust coming into the lobby. The man said, "That's a fresh breeze." I laughed at his reframe of the bitterly cold wind.
But, you know, it was.