September 2, 2014

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On the Other Hand — When cold is just plain cold PDF Print
Saturday, January 04, 2014 9:04 PM

I’m fresh off an awesome holiday season. Christmas was great. I had everything I needed and pretty much wanted before the first package was unwrapped so it was all just gravy.

New Year’s Eve was spent with family and friends laughing and having a good time.

I have a great husband, a child who is finding the way through life, a healthy family, a job I love and I’m really not kidding when I say I’m living the life even though you may hear a drip or two of sarcasm.

That being said, I’m on to the upcoming weather forecast. Apparently we are in for a “perfect storm” of the jet stream, cold surface temperatures and the polar vortex — a counterclockwise-rotating pool of cold, dense air — coming together for winter Armageddon. A la snow, wind and cold.

Perhaps that isn’t really doing it justice. When I say snow I mean 8-10 inches. When I say wind I mean enough wind to create blizzard-like conditions. Lastly, not just cold. Minus 40 degrees wind chill cold. What?!?

Does it even matter when it gets that cold? Do we really need to know if it’s minus 30 or minus 40? At what point does it not make a difference? At what point do your eyeballs freeze in your head?

When Little Ringo and I make our way down the sidewalk this weekend and beyond, will we notice a degree or two one way or other once it reaches a certain point? I think not. I think we’ll be cold. Just really cold.

They say if you are under the age of 40, you won’t have seen temperatures and wind chills of this nature. I’m 48 and I remember a winter such as this.

It was January 1982 after my dad reopened the Marathon station. Wind chills were in the minus-30 range. We had to take turns going out to wait on customers and no one went out twice in a row. We had a kerosene heater in one of the bays with chairs circled around. There was just no way to keep the heat in with the big glass bay doors. I believe a bottle of liquid warmth was passed around by the adults.

I remember how the cold seemed to suck the breath from my lungs and my eyes would instantly water. It took no time for the fingers to start to tingle even in a double layer of gloves.

Stay safe out there. These temperatures are nothing to mess with. Frostbite can occur in minutes. I think it’s a great opportunity to stay indoors, take down those holiday decorations and stay warm.


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