Pause Game

The weather has hit the pause button on getting back to normal after the holidays, but we carry on in the house. We make dinner. Well, Jim does.

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Lilly has no school today, which is amazing. Her school, which is on the U of I campus, rarely closes. The air temperature is in the low single digits and will fall further this afternoon, but the real problem, and I can see it out my window (I’m sitting in that window you see above), is the wind. And the wind is far, far worse in rural areas just outside town. I’m glad they canceled. I see nothing wrong with it, because people’s response to extremely cold weather is relative, and a lot of people who live here are not of Midwestern stock. And even for those who are – why suffer?

I lived in Minnesota from 1981-1991. The first winter we lived there – and we had come from FLORIDA, OK – was impressive even by their standards. I think there was an ice storm shortly after Halloween, and then it was kind of the usual wintry weather through Christmas (sledding! Snowballs! Tromping around!), and then January came. It was cold early in the month, and then we received 37″ of snow in 3 days in suburban Minneapolis, and then the cold arrived again. I remember going outside in late January just to see what -70 windchill (measured the old way) felt like. It sucked. I was in 8th grade, from the South, and hated/would not wear turtlenecks, socks, wool, and hats. I WOULD NOT WEAR SOCKS.┬áNow I’m properly attired at all times, and I don’t mind the cold as long as the sun comes out and my car’s tires stay intact and the heat stays on, but I’ve lived in the Midwest for 34 years. I follow the weather closely all the time, I know what to expect, and I’m lucky enough to have plenty of warm things to wear. If people stay in this part of the country long enough, they often end up doing the same. Enjoy your Cold Day, if you’ve got one, and wear some goddamn socks and a hat tomorrow morning when it’s -13. OK?

Other cold snap advice: Keep your pets warm. Fill the bird feeders. Make soup. Declutter something. The days are getting longer even though the cold is getting stronger. Spring is just 72 days away.