It’s pretty damn cold! Check this out:
In junior high and high school, we used to say, “It’s colder than a witch’s tit!” I’m sure that lovely little phrase would have shocked my mother back then. Well, it would probably still shock her today. It kind of makes me cringe just putting it in writing!
It is so cold here that we made the NBC Nightly News! (I know, I know… just yesterday I said that I never watch the news and while it’s true that I am generally grossly underinformed, this evening, I was not in control of the t.v. remote and so I had no choice but to absorb some newsy information. I also said I am not watching Idol this season, yet here I sit in front this evening’s episode. It’s not really considered watching if I’m really blogging and simply happen to be in the same room as Idol.) Anyway, while watching NBC Nightly News, there suddenly appeared a reporter standing right in front of Minnehaha Falls, which is in my near vicinity and he was reporting on national t.v. about the cold snap we have going on here. Apparently those falls don’t normally freeze solid. Go figure!
Before I left the house today, I thought I’d leave the kids a post it note just giving them a heads up about leaving the house prepared for the cold. I wrote out a note. “Very, VERY cold today.” Then I thought of something else and wrote another. “Wear jackets AND gloves. Bring hats if you’re not going to wear them.” (Yes, it’s true I have to tell my kids to wear jackets. They don’t grasp the idea that cars sometimes break down and they may actually have to spend time outside and that a jacket WILL be necessary.) This then led me to write yet another note. “Ten minutes in these temps = FROSTBITE!” One final thought occurred to me and I added a fourth note. “Watch the dog if you let her outside. Don’t let her stay out too long.” I stuck all of these up in a purple post-it note procession on the kitchen door frame.
When I left for work this morning it was 13 below with a 36 below windchill. The funny thing is, this weather isn’t all that unusual in Minnesota. Oh, it’s not like we get long stretches of this kind of weather, but it is fairly normal to have a few days of this now and then in these parts. Besides, I know my Canadian friends are probably looking at this and saying, “Wusses!”
And I am a self proclaimed wuss! I don’t like to be cold. I like the heat. I love the sun and shorts and tank tops. I’m a sun worshipper. I make it a point to avoid exposure to these kinds of elements at all costs. I have three layers on today. I have a down jacket. When I go to bed, I wear sweats and a sweatshirt and bury myself under an electric blanket, a down comforter and a fleece blanket on top of all that just for good measure.
And when I leave the office, I don’t walk outside to get to my parking ramp. Which brings me to a complaint.
(I know. Shocker.)
Last week I was talking with a customer in New York. Most of our customers want to just get to the business at hand but this guy was quite charming and talkative. (Forty-five minutes worth of talkative!) He was asking about the weather here and comparing it to what’s going on where he lives. He said to me, “I hear that Minnesota has these conduits.” I hesitated for a moment, not sure what he was talking about, before he said, “They connect all the buildings downtown” which is when it clicked. Yes, we have skyways. I am eternally grateful for skyways. The skyways allow me to stay cool in the summer when it’s too hot to walk outside and they allow me to stay warm in the winter when it’s colder than a….. well, you know. But sometimes walking through the skyways makes me crazy.
I’m sure you can imagine, but in case you’re not clear on this, a skyway is like a hallway between the buildings. It doesn’t provide a massive amount of space and walking the skyways requires a little bit of common sense, which apparently for some people is sucked dry by the extreme temperatures. The skyways are wide enough for about four people to walk side by side. Now anyone with half a brain and any amount of common courtesy should realize that if you’re walking in a party of more than two, you might need to make some adjustments to allow walkers coming from the opposite direction to pass by. If you’re walking with more than one other person and you all are, shall we say, carrying a large load and just strolly-strolling along, you might need to move to the right and allow faster travelers to pass. But there are ALWAYS those oblivious people who just don’t grasp the concept.
I am a fast walker due in part to the fact that I have long legs, and one stride for me is the equivalent of two strides for some others who are less vertically endowed. Add to that the fact that I spent many years taking daily walks as a form of excercise and thus am not in the habit of seeing this as a relaxing activity. Also, come 5:00 pm, I simply can’t get out of downtown and on to more enjoyable pursuits fast enough.
This evening as I left work, I ended up behind a couple of wide loads, one of whom was carrying, in addition to her own weight, a purse, a shopping bag, a tote bag and a lunch cooler. Next to these two ladies was a maintenance worker walking a trash barrel on wheels and chatting it up on his cell phone, all in an extremely leisurely fashion. And this particular combination made it impossible for me to pass by, along with a bottleneck of others who were jamming up alongside and behind me. Finally we reached an intersection in the skyway and we all zipped passed the offending parties like Dale Jr. in the final lap of the Daytona 500 with his hair on fire.
Now I was tempted to toss a few choice remarks to the rude yahoos or at the very least, shoot a couple of evil eyes their way, but it’s just not in me to do such things. But apparently I have no problem putting all my ugly thoughts up on the blog, and good thing, because I feel so much better already. And also, traffic, for some odd reason was much lighter than usual and I was able to
fly down the freeway like Dale Jr. in the Daytona 500 with his hair on fire enjoy a nice smoothe drive home and my nerves were calmed considerably.
And tomorrow, I’ll walk the skyways again. Because I am a wuss.