Friday, January 11, 2008

January Thaw

Last week Thursday we had a foot of powdery new snow on top of another foot of base blowing around the hilltop with temperatures in the single digits. When it is zero degrees -- absolutely nada degrees -- and blowing thirty in Vermont, I still cannot force myself to utter the phrase, "Boy, it's cold." People I know in Fairbanks, Alaska dust off their golf clubs when the temps rise above zero. That is a place where your truck tires can get so cold they break. I don't mean go flat. I mean fracture. School is not canceled for cold up there until all molecular activity ceases. So even though I can step out into that brisk Vermont breeze and feel my blood and entire reproductive plumbing charge inward toward my heart, I can't say It's cold. Only once all of my steadfast old Alaskan friends are either dead or living on Molokai will I confess in this or any public forum that it has been freaking cold out here.

But that was then and this is now. Within four days of our big chill, temperatures across New England reached near record levels. We logged fifty-nine degrees up here on Tuesday, but it's back in the thirties today. It's raining. The snow has turned to dirty ice. The driveway is the consistency of stone ground mustard. As they say up north, "You gotta love springtime."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think, too, as we age, somehow our internal thermometer becomes calibrated differently. There are measurement scales of Celsius, Fahrenheit, and "Over 40". When I was a kid,living in Ohio, I could play outside all day in single digit temps. Nowadays... I live in Texas, and shiver when it is in the 50's.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I'm hugging the stove here in Fairbanks where my thermometer this morning sits on -30 degrees and falling. After having grown up here I know now why I left to live in Homer for 20-plus years, where +30 is considered cold. Although I can't really complain, the wind chill in Barrow yesterday was -63. Thanks for mentioning us Fairbanksans, we're a hardy bunch but do tend to hibernate at these temps, calling each other and asking, "So how cold it is at your place?"

3:22 PM  
Blogger Steve Stenzel said...

I hear ya. Here in MN, when I go out running, I feel GREAT when it's just above 0.

5:09 PM  

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