Tuesday, December 20, 2016

At Least the Robe was Warm.

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. 

Two degrees. 

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.

The end. 

(Oh my god, it was cold.)


Lady Anne said...

Baltimore seldom gets quite that cold, but we do get the wind. The coldest I can remember was minus 1-f, with a wind-chill so something hideous, which is quite cold enough, thank you very much.

I never visited Montana in the winter, but summers are very dry, from what I remember. Your skin just cracks and peels off in sheets. Baltimore gets the humidity with the heat. It's as if the entire world has turned into a sauna.

spookyrach said...

Lady Anne, my all-time favorite Far Side cartoon shows two nerdy guys sitting on a bench in hell. One says to the other "Yeah, but at least it's a dry heat."

That slays me. Heh.

I hate humidity. Hate it a lot. We are the definition of arid out here. I'm not good with sauna. :D

Monica said...

Y'all can just keep that wind to yourselves, thankyouverymuch. It made it all the way here Sunday and Monday. You know where my nice, wool, warm, winter coat is? Midland. You know where I am? Austin. You know what I said to my sister-in-law when she said she meant to give it back to me at Thanksgiving? "Oh, don't worry about it. When am I going to need to be dressed up when it's that cold?" Sunday, December 18, that's when. We did not leave the house yesterday. I am not put together for such conditions. (It was 23, for several hours, windchill 14).

spookyrach said...

Hahahaha!! You just have not been livin' right Monica. Jesus done got to do some work in yer life and be needin' yer attention.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's what's going on. Pretty sure.

Bless your heart.

Hope said...

Having lived where it's humid in winter I do have to say that humidity and wind and below zero weather are worse than the dry cold 40 below we get here.

spookyrach said...

Living where you live, Hope, makes you an instant expert. I bow to any and all opinions you have on winter. :D

Hope said...

Haha. I'm no expert but I have seen it pretty darn cold up here.

Anonymous said...

Well, Thursday the actual temp here in God's country was minus 28 with a wind chill factor bringing it to minus 50. Okay you can stay inside but our new furnace decided it was time for a rest. Sounds bad but it gets worse. The blizzard came to visit Friday. So faced as you were with the end of the world in sight, the powers to be closed the roads for the weekend and church was cancelled. No karma points available. Montana winters still beat Mississippi summers.

spookyrach said...

Holy Moly! You win!!!

This sounds like the plot of a really dire Laura Ingles Wilder book...