Tuesday, January 29, 2008

long johns

My dining-room-window thermometer is the dial kind. The lowest number is -40 (which can be either Celsius or Fahrenheit). This morning the needle was pointing about where -45 F. would have been. It can't move any further. I have no idea how cold it really was. Harriet the Echo declined to participate, and I saw no point in running the battery down "trying"; I was just glad to be able to get the driver's door closed, latched, and locked again. The latches get very stiff in this weather. And sitting on the normally comfortable, nicely cushioned driver's seat feels just like sitting down on a plank.

Sooooo. I came to work on the bus. Wearing the winter outfit as described yesterday plus one spiffy set of silk long underwear (the bottom half, I can always add fluffy sweaters to the top half). They make an astonishing difference.

I learned an endearing thing about Prairie Metropolis this morning, reading the paper. At these temperatures there are NO express bus routes. All buses stop for all passengers. NOBODY stands in the cold. I was scrabbling for my cash fare when I got on this morning -- "just take a seat, Ma'am, that's all right"...

Also at these temperatures locksmiths operate on a different set of protocols..."My two-year-old locked me out of the house in my dressing-gown" brings a locksmith just as fast as his wheels will turn, no matter what he's doing.

Because we are out of "uncomfortable" now and into "life-threatening." I had to change buses at the University terminus, hearing the driver's parting words -- "Everybody stay wrapped up and warm, I want to see all those noses and ears still attached tonight!" Fortunately there is no wind at all, and the sun, now well up, should dissipate the ice-fog (which was greatly intensified by the morning rush-hour, diminished though that was).

Time to call the Bible study participants and cancel tonight's session, I think. My secretary left a message -- car won't start and pipes frozen in her house (actually, where the main line enters the house, so she's at home "waiting for the county..."). But my kitchen-renovation crew have appeared! bless their hearts!

11 comments:

mibi52 said...

Oh,my gosh. I will never complain about the cold again. It has been my observation, though (with a husband whose family lives in Chicago and a former life with a vacation home in northern VT), that parts of the world that regularly have the weather you describe generally handle them much better than we in more temperate climes do. Even if it does require long johns.

Crimson Rambler said...

It IS different, mibi -- all of a sudden it's not just winter, now it's ARCTIC stuff. You can feel the alteration through all sorts of materials -- wood, metal, everything feels different and sounds different, even the snow creaks underfoot differently.

The Lovely Wife said...

I hear ya. I always know were my long janes are. It has been -20 around here and that is cold enough for me. Lately we have warmed up a bit. We have been in the single digits and single negatives at night. After Belize I am finally getting acclimated again.

Crimson Rambler said...

what blows my mind is the 110 degree difference between inside my house and outside my house...

mibi52 said...

Yes, I can imagine (sort of) the difference in the feel and action of stuff at that level of cold. Stay warm! We're having a warm patch here and it's currently 50 F here right by Washington DC. A bit too warm for me, but I'm not volunteering for what you've got.

Singing Owl said...

i hear ya...heading our way now
brrrrr

mompriest said...

Ok. That. Is. Cold.

No. Colder than cold....

more cows than people said...

wow. wow. wow. and i thought WE had extreme weather.

i know, now, from reading diane's blog, where you live. and i must say that where you live is beautiful. cold, yes. but beautiful.

glad you cancelled bible study.

Jan said...

It is embarrassing to post and to tell you that we had a record high temp. of 86 F today. I can't even imagine it being as cold as you are there.

And that's really weird to think of the difference in temperature from inside your house to the outside!

Jim said...

The Awesome Assistant might be able to get something working if she has a close neighbour and a length of garden hose. Connect the outside taps and keep water running through the hose at all times. It doesn't have to run very fast, just enough to keep it from freezing . . . as the Crimson Rambler may remember.

Rev. Dulce said...

Okay, Okay.....I can't believe I was just complaining about it being 29 degree's on my blog. Mea Culpa.