Thursday, January 6, 2011

Define cold, take your time

Facts is facts: Yesterday's national high was 86 degrees in Edinburg, Tx, on the border with Mexico. Yesterday's national low was minus 29, Orr, MN, on the border with Canada. That's a hundred degree spread. Or more.

When is the last time your raked your roof? They do that in Minnesota. Have to. Snow is heavy – and leaks. Ice dams form in gutters. Backs up into homes.

It’s cold. Damned cold. More is on the way. We’ve already been sub-zero several times.

Define cold. I’m just curious. How do you define cold?

There is so much snow on the ground, cities are running out of places to put it after they plow the streets and clear parking lots. One suggestion: the lakes are low, dump it there. That's just weird.

I’ve seen two snow tornadoes. No fooling. One was swirled up between the houses across the street. And by damn, as the Mystery Woman was chuckling at my terror, another tornado jumped up on the school playground. Even larger than the first.

Up here, cold weather comes in different colors: white, blue and dark.

White cold is flurried with snow so dry you would die of thirst if you tried to drink it. That kind of snow coats the streets but is dangerous mostly during white-outs. Disorienting if you are trying to walk any distance.

Blue is caused when heavy, wet snow blocks out the sun and makes jet airplanes idle on the tarmac. The blue norther is vivid, penetrating cold. Wind chills are. Bad.

Dark killer cold creeps in while we sleep. The ground freezes. People up here know a lot about you by the boots you wear. Sensible shoes has a different meaning in Minnesota. Even men wear Uggs. He-men and grounded women wear Sorel boots. L.L. Bean is a deity who goes both ways. He is worshipped for both boots and flannel.

Cold has consequences. When is the last time you had outdoor sex?


sph said...

I suspect I will define COLD next Tuesday, or maybe Monday evening. You will be the FIRST to know.....I can hardly wait!

Anonymous said...

The last time I had outdoor sex was NOT in Minnesota.

paula said...

I don't remember, but it certainly wasn't in the snow!

Ken Martin said...

I might define cold as anything worse than a typical "winter" in Austin, Texas. Don't wanna be anywhere that's colder than that, and I'll gladly take the summer heat as a tradeoff.

In a perfect world, work and money permitting, I might be a snowbird, but that's not gonna happen. If I were a snowbird, I'd definitely know to fly south come winter.

George said...

I failed to explain that roof rakes telescope to two stories tall. I've never seen nor heard of such.

paula said...

You forgot to mention the lack of gutters below most roofs, since those contraptions just support ice dams. A lot of people install electric heat tape or heated panels at the base of their roofs to start little avalanches on a controlled basis. Ah, there are so many ways northerners have learned to cope with what Mother Nature leaves behind! It almost takes the breath away, if the sub-freezing temps don't!

The South Plainsman said...

Complain to Al Gore.

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