Several years ago, when I lived in the big city, I went to the YMCA every morning at 6:00 a.m. to swim. It was always just me and six really old guys. Every morning, five days a week, for a couple of years. We were all great buds, except for one almost insurmountable drawback. Any time I saw any one of them anywhere other than the pool, they all said the exact same thing.
"I didn't recognize you with your clothes on!"
There is nothing, just nothing, - sexist overtones aside - that is more irritating that an old and moldy joke, oft repeated. (I should probably point out that I think this is not the first time I've told you that story, making this entire post extremely meta. You. are. welcome.)
And in the interest of not perpetuating the moldy oldies, I'm not going to tell you that the only thing separating Amarillo from the North Pole is a barbed wire fence. Why? Because EVERYONE that crosses my path today is going to mention that the fence is down. Everyone.
I am so tired of that joke.
However, not too tired to whine about the cold! Lucky you!
Yesterday I awoke to the warm embrace of pillows and memory foam. I was cocooned quite nicely and marveled at my totally toasty state. Surely the weatherman had been wrong. Evidently I needn't have bothered letting my faucets drip all night. It wasn't nearly as cold as predicted.
The dogs were grumbling about the crate, so I got up to let them out.
As soon as I'd scooted them out the door, I dived for the bedclothes. Within minutes the dog door clattered followed by additional bed diving and two cold, wet noses snarfling in my face. The dogs complained vociferously about the state of the outdoors before burrowing alongside me in the mass of blankets. They were followed minutes later by the sane cat and we melded into one big, breathy pile of mutually warming flesh and fur.
The insane cat sneezed under the bed.
I checked my phone.
It was one degree outside.
How insulting is that? One degree. I didn't bother to check the wind chill. It would have been offensive. The wind always blows here and that's why the fence joke. It makes the cold exponentially colder.
When I was a wee young thing I lived in Montana for about three years. I can still remember stories on the news - multiple stories, every year - about people who'd been stranded due to car trouble or what have you. They would either strike out in search of help or stay sheltered where they were, and slowly, unknowingly freeze to death. They weren't dressed for the extreme temperature because without wind, it just didn't feel that horrible.
That was just plain weird to my little Texas brain. Cold in Montana was bitter and dangerous. But it wasn't wind driven. And so you didn't notice that it was killing you. Not s'much.
Cold is always wind driven here. That's how the cold temps get here. It can be barely below freezing yet feel like the deepest void of space and you just know you're going to die of exposure right that very minute if you don't get the hell in the house. The wind drives the cold right through you, laughing at each of the layers it peels away while doing it.
So, I stayed in my bed. I watched some British home buying shows and marveled at how less spoiled the English buyers are than their HGTV counterparts. After an hour or so I checked my phone again.
At that point I knew this was essentially the end of the world. In that event, I needed karma points, so I got up and went to church.
(Oh my god, it was cold.)