While 17 of the 48 contiguous states find themselves under a Winter Warning, trapped under what is, in some cases, inches of ice covering areas that rarely see ice at all, Minnesota finds itself plunged back into temperatures below zero.
If only I had been alerted; because I would have told Them (the Big Them) that we decline. We (the Big We) have tired of the cold, the dark.
Heated car seats no longer seem like capitalist frippery and good God, flannel is looking sexy.
We’re a practical people, we Minnesotans. November’s weather was to be expected, of course; and December’s was practically a requirement; but we’re slipping out of January now, people, and the whole thing has, frankly, gotten old.
That grinding sound you hear from the north? It’s the sound of Minnesotans gritting their teeth with the thought of February and March.
Another shot of schnapps? Don’t mind if I do!
We were spoiled with the 30-degree weather of the last week or so. Thirty degrees Fahrenheit may seem a tad on the refrigerated side to some people, but given that today is well below zero, we’re talking about a 50-some degree swing in temperature.
Put that in your thermometer and smoke it!
Have you experienced temperatures below zero? Are you familiar with the inter-nasal icebergs? The feeling of the dry cold that comes up through your boots and doesn’t leave your bones until spring? The sensation of frozen eyeballs?
My dear, how do you live?
That is the kind of cold of which I speak: a killing cold.
And this is where we turn to my favorite spot for unobtrusive people-gawking: the bus stop.
Some mornings I am the only one waiting. This provides an opportunity for me to pretend to write down the plate numbers of those who don’t give even the briefest of pauses at the four-way stop signs but roll blithely through, usually while checking their text messages, removing nail polish, or plucking their eyebrows.
Full disclosure: I also, while awaiting the arrival of the bus, practice dance steps I’ve “created”, see how long I can stand there with my eyes closed, and make plans regarding how I will travel south when The End Comes and I’m the Last Person on Earth.
Friday morning’s temperature a little after 7:00 was 25 degrees below zero.
When I approached the bus stop there were two people there I hadn’t seen before.
In jean jackets.
And tennis shoes.
Oh, but they were wearing hoodies under their jean jackets! Ha ha ha!!
And so while we waited, I found myself hoping that the bus would pick us up and then break down somewhere. Somewhere colder than this corner, perhaps near the center of the bridge over the Mississippi on our way into the city, whereupon they would be forced to stagger toward shelter, hopefully bursting into tears of painful frustration as they realized their foolish under-estimation of Mother Nature.
I would walk behind them all the way into the city, murmuring softly about black, frozen toes and how far plastic surgery has come insofar as replacing ears and noses.
When the TV crew showed up (surely a broken down bus was newsworthy?) I would be interviewed, gleefully pointing out how criminally under-prepared those two were.
None of this happened, of course; and while the Pals from Ipanema were driven to stamp their feet to stir blood circulation and cover their ears with their hands and making pitiful noises that sounded suspiciously like oh it’s so cold out here, I can’t believe how cold it is out here, the bus showed up on time and saved them from themselves.
There will be no you-had-it-coming moment on this commute.
Yes. Winter’s not the only thing cold around here.
Ack. I wonder if I would be friendlier if I were on the beach?
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