It’s cold. Really cold. Fifteen below when John and I got up this morning. Six below when I dropped him off at school. That’s not the wind chill either, that’s the actual temperature.
For readers living in the Northeast, that’s all I have to say. It’s winter, it’s cold, you know the rest.
For readers living south of Washington, D.C., it’s probably colder right now than you’ve ever seen. Let me fill you in:
>> Everything freezes right away. If you have a runny nose, it’s going to freeze up a little bit. It feels very strange.
>> Snow doesn’t act like the snow we’re used to. No puffy, packable flakes. Instead, it looks and acts like silvery dust or sand, blowing around long after it stops coming out of the sky. It’s easy to shovel but hard to play with. On the plus side, if you can manage to build a fort (which John and I have), you’re going to get to keep it for a while. We could be picnicking in our fort until the end of March.
>> The car sounds and feels different when you drive. I don’t know enough about cars to say why. I can only assume that my car thinks it’s too cold to be out.
>> Cold is trying to come into the house at all times. If you have an old house with variable insulation and older windows, some of that cold is going to find its way in. You know that feeling when you’re swimming in a lake and you suddenly hit an odd cold patch? It’s like that, but in the air, and in your house.
>> Creatures are also trying to come into the house. There was something (hopefully a tiny cute solo mouse) scratching on the inside of my bedroom wall two nights ago, but a sonic mouse repeller seems to have scared him off. And judging from the rabbit tracks in the snow on our porch we’ve got all of Watership Down living out there. It’s only a matter of time before they start knocking on the door asking for warm carrots and a bourbon.
>> Warm feels great. See Michael up there? He’s sleeping in the sun, next to a radiator and about six inches from a space heater that I keep in my office. And he’s covered in fur! He’s no dummy. I do the same thing — I just find the cozy spots and stay in them. I’m lacking the fur, but I do own about 19 scarves and four pairs of slippers.
>> I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s not that bad. If you put on your warm clothes, it feels ok. I’m not going out for a long walk in the sunshine at lunch today, but I don’t feel housebound like I did when we first moved here. A 35 degree day in March or April bothers me much more than a very cold day in January, which is when it’s supposed to be very cold.
My brave, sweet parents are heading up here from Charlotte later on. I haven’t told them the temperature today, and I don’t think I will.