Thursday, December 10, 2009

4 degrees

I received a text today from my future best man in my wedding with the simple question "You cold today?" He must have seen some weather report about the bitter chill that is going through Minnesota. You see right now as I write this it is 4 degrees with a wind chill of -11. This is actually an improvement over the temperature of -2 degrees I saw reported last night. It is cold, but for someone who has been in Minnesota for 4 years and 5 winters it isn't anything new. Every year there will be a stretch of single digits or negative numbers. You don't always know when it will happen, but you know that it is as inevitable as the snow.

In Mississippi there were sweatshirt winters and in Ohio it could get pretty cold, but in Minnesota it gets really, really cold. Here are some of the things I learned about it being Minnesota cold:
  1. Your nostrils can freeze together. This is frightening, disgusting and if you are outside long enough unavoidable.
  2. Your no longer care about any semblance of fashion.
  3. The air is much thinner and running is nearly impossible. I just learned that last night as I was racing to get back to my car after the Twolves game. This "thing I learned" about the cold might just mean I am out of shape, but I choose to believe my first point.
  4. Don't underestimate the dangers of driving on the road and don't overreact. You won't be able to break or turn as easily, but the worst thing you do is start panicking.
  5. Commute = X. Commute driving in freezing, snowing weather = minimum. For those of you who forgot basic algebra that means that if your commute is 15 minutes then you should set your expectations of a commute in bad weather at 30 minutes.
  6. You would think people would be more cautious about their driving in the snow. Most are. However, some getting annoyed about how long their commute is still take the time in the car to put on their makeup (saw that today) or text. These people get in car accidents and contribute to the point above.
  7. Your two most important articles of clothing are what you put on your feet (boots preferably) and head. This is under the assumption that you have a coat to put your hands in, because otherwise you can add gloves to that list. One of the best purchases I (well my Mom) ever made were some expensive Gortex boots that I can walk through snow, ice, water and not feel a thing.
  8. If you don't wear appropriate shoes or gloves then the best thing you can do is put them in lukewarm water to thaw them out. It is kind of like thawing out frozen chicken.
  9. Minnesotans do enjoy the summer more because of the winters.
  10. Walking on a frozen lake has a feeling of dread. I can only imagine what it is like to drive a car on a frozen lake.
  11. Extremely cold days are mentally and physically exhausting. Simple things like driving to work or going to get dinner can feel like tremendous undertakings. That combined with the fact that is dark for 17 hours of the day can mean that you get a lot of sleep.
  12. A sunny day with no clouds in sight might look like a nice day from your window, but all it really means is that it is -10 degrees. In Ohio I would go months without seeing the sun in the winter, so I automatically associated sun with heat. That and the fact that the sun is supposed to provide warmth. Well in Minnesota a sunny day doesn't necessarily mean any heat and I think it can actually mean that the day is colder than expected.

Now it is off to watch the mighty Redhawks compete against Cincy in basketball on ESPN 2.

1 comment:

Mary said...

I especially like points 1 and 8. :) It is very cold here today... I think mittens are required - they are much cozier than gloves.