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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

And When the Glacier Moved Down Nicollet, We Knew It Was Serious

First came the snow.

And we knew this to be fair, to be good.  It’s Minneapolis, for cryin’ out loud.  Our seasons are beautiful because they exist.

And then came the cold.

And that, too, was known to be fair, even good.  We have, after all, tubs and tubs of clothes suited for this very thing.  We have summer clothes; we have winter clothes.  Sometimes, they’re worn within hours of each other.

If ya wants the ecstasy-bound exhilaration of spring, it’s best precipitated by the heady horrors of winter.

But when, ladies and gentlemen, the mercury dips 70 degrees lower than what is needed to freeze water?  When one’s eyeballs develop a frosted haze and one realizes that this is possibly what frozen conjunctiva look like?  When, despite wearing all manner of layered clothing, from woolen leg warmers from ankle to knee, trousers, snow boots, a fleece vest under a down coat that could double as a sleeping bag and a hat once described by Robert Peary as “too warm”, when the cold creeps up from the sidewalk, up the leg, the spine, until the only thing that could be said to be warm on one’s body is the back of one’s neck?

That is where I take issue.

Ladies and gentlemen, it took me a long time to get there, but I must admit it.

I’m cold.

It pains me to say it.  It is, after all, against Code.  Minnesotans scoff openly at temperatures.  We hit over 100 in the summer whilst grinning, and then we swing over 100 degrees in the other direction and we laugh.

But this is different.

This is the Polar Vortex.

Have you been?  Oh, my dear, you must!  Apparently the air normally situated over the Arctic Circle has lost its way, taken a southerly dip, if you will, and settled over the Great Plains.

Entirely without our permission.

First came the snow.

Then came the cold.

And then came the complaints.


I’m cold.

42 comments:

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Entirely without our permission, Pearl! Entirely without! My kids haven't had school since, oh - Halloween.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shelly said...

Come south Pearlie- we're cold, too, but our blood's thin. High is in the 50's today, which would be downright balmy to you. I'll get the spare room ready for you and Willie and the kitties.

Pearl said...

Dawn, oh, how I miss the school closings. Which I don't recall many of, frankly, but I'm sure they were there...

Shelly, 50? A 90-degree temperature upgrade? :-) Sounds like -- sob -- heaven. (Am actually, somewhat dreamily, looking into a trip to Texas. Just long enough to get the feeling back in my fingers and toes, you know...)

Delores said...

It's a tad nippy for sure but we shall overcome. We'll just enjoy summer that much more. I do miss complaining about the heat, don't you?

Ray Denzel said...

pearl, you are a learned woman. who else drops in a Peary sidebar in a post! stay warm, but get warm first!

joeh said...

When it is 20 below Minnesotans tipping point, it is COLD!

Stay inside and stay warm enough to write another day.

Eileen Black said...

What the frikken heck is going on?? Australia is on fire--left in the oven with no timer--and the Arctic Ice Cap has slid over like a toddler's baseball cap???? I KNOW it's bad when Minneapolis closes schools because of cold temps and when Pearl says she's cold. (wow!)

fmcgmccllc said...

Yep, here in Detroit we have your normal weather and I can't take it. I refuse to go outside without a really good reason until it is above 0.

Johanna Hyland said...

Love it!

Sioux said...

Me, too. I like the cold weather (oh, I know--not the Minnesota version of cold, but instead the cold of Missouri) but this is too much...

Mel said...

Pretty cold here south of you too, and I'm ok with all of us complaining until this polar vortex finds its way home. Extreme cold temperatures are bad, but gusty, relentless bone chilling winds are what break me.

Stay warm up there. :)

Jayne Martin said...

Love the cadence of this piece. I just you don't want to here that I need to run to the store today for more sunscreen. No. Probably not.

ThreeOldKeys said...

do not put your tongue on the metal railing.

vanilla said...

"And then came the complaints." And rightfully so.

jenny_o said...

You have my sympathy, Pearl. I'm used to the usual cold of winter, but I can only imagine what you're describing, and it chills me just to think of it. You'd better stock up on potatoes to bake and carry in your pockets.

bill lisleman said...

How far do those tunnels and walkways downtown get you? Could you tunnel back to your house/apartment?
I think polar vortex sounds sci-fi. Next month - the bi-polar vortex!

Perpetua said...

I've been feeling cold just watching the BBC news coverage of your weather, pearl. I can't imagine what's it's like to be actually experiencing it. :-( Stay warm and safe and may that vortex get itself back where it came from pronto.

Mitchell is Moving said...

The end of life as we know it. First a Polar Vortex (what the???) and then PEARL IS COLD!

(It's 8 p.m. and 54F/12C here... I don't know how to spell nyana nyana nyana... How'd I do?)

But really, wishing you some warmer weather and no more vortexes.

Geo. said...

News says ski-lifts have closed, as has the tubing hill in Wirth park, even ice rink warming houses. You write with indestructible humor but I see this is quite serious. Pearl, be careful!

Pat Tillett said...

Flowers are blooming where I live, but I've been in very cold places and I really could never feel the difference between 20 below and 30 below. I was already frozen by then!
Hang in there Pearl! Spring will be here in a few months, right? BRRR!

Boy do I have some catching up to do here...

Juli said...

I'm just glad I don't deliver your mail. But if I did, I just know you'd make me cocoa.

I delivered mail today in 0 degree wind chill. And I am cold.

Ad now I am REALLY glad I don't live there.

Elephant's Child said...

And if only we could put our climates together and divide by two, we would both have reasonable weather.

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

Oh yeah, I think I read online or something that it was supposed to be cold somewhere this week. Did you hear anything about that?

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
...time to burrow? YAM xx

NotesFromAbroad said...

Gee thanks a lot Pearl !
You have just taken away all my ability to complain about the cold.
So what if it is -3 at night, where I live.
But at least you have the kitty cats, right ? small furry warm bodies for foot warmers ?
I have to get a cat ...

Gigi said...

I know I have no right to complain considering I "technically" live in the South - but DAMMIT! It's freezing down here too.

Silliyak said...

Hopefully someone did not (re)create the formula for Ice

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Man, Pearl, I heard about your weather. If you weren't cold, I'd be a little worried for your mental health! Hope it breaks soon.

Cloudia said...

Another planet I can not really imagine! Be safe, Pearl
ALOHA from Honolulu

Sunshiny photos:

Comfort Spiral
> < } } ( ° >

Joanne Noragon said...

The grandkids have an extra two days of winter break and are cabin crazy. On a whim Grandma called the dentist and nabbed three woosie cancellations for today. I believe they will be triple dog glad school resumes tomorrow, in spite of morning temps around zero.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

I can't imagine the kids not being able to go to school due to bad weather as the weather here is never that bad

Rose L said...

Now why do I avoid considering a move to Minnesota or North Dakota? Hmmmm, Oh yea! SNOW!!!! I do not like snow. I might visit in spring or summer after all the snow is gone tough.

River said...

I've been seeing your weather on our news reports and it does look cold, but now I know just how serious it is. When even Pearl says it's cold, then for sure it must be COLD. Are you able to get hold of some Eskimo clothing? Muk Luks and those fur lined parkas and pants that they sew themselves into each winter? I believe they also coat their bodies in goose grease as well, before the under layers get sewn on. Of course it might be simpler to come to Adelaide, it's currently 28C here, that's 82.4F and predicted to be 41C within a week, that's 105.8F. You could probably soak up enough warmth to last you a fortnight.

Linda O'Connell said...

Somebody needs to zip that broken vortex. We're buried here in St. Louis under a foot of snow and subzero temps. No amount of clothes makes me feel warm. Enough already.

Launna said...

Pearl it is insanely cold...I'm grateful it's not that cold here.... I laughed when you said your down coat could double as a sleeping bag... I have come to love snow pants... what a great invention...lol ... now if I could just convince Valentina... sigh

Buttons said...

Arctic Vortex yeah enough already. At least you can't blame Canada this time Pearl. Keep warm. Hug B

The Geezers said...

Amen, Pearl. Amen.

esbboston said...

If you come to Texas lets have lunch! I found a cold diner that serves locaLLy grown buffalo burgers, and by local I mean within the city limits of Amarillo. I am not sure what Shelly wiLL feed you.

Kymbo Whitford said...

With you, Cal and Shannon in mind Ive been following this unusual weather pattern, but I really cant understand this amount of cold, it's colder than our freezers...
We occasionally get cold winds swept up from Antarctica, tempered somewhat from the long trip across the sea they get here with a wind chill around -10 but Im up the gulf a bit and it never gets lower than wind chill -6 here (and even then only every few years)...and it nearly kills us! We hide indoors and the town looks like the end of the world with not a creature stirring...
Hope things get better for you soon.

Daisy said...

That Polar Vortex is so rude! It's the rudest of all the Vortexes, or so I've heard. =)

Wishing you warmth and sunshine, Pearl!

Diane Tolley said...

Brrr. Glad I live in Canada! :)