Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sub-Arctic Negative Temperature: Just a Little Nippy?!

Yesterday I checked to make sure I had everything I needed, so that I wouldn't have to leave the house during the cold front.

Most people from this area don't seem to worry.  

They're used to this.  Negative temperatures?  No big deal... It's a little nippy outside.  Little Miss Desert Transplant, on the other hand, couldn't stop thinking of the possibilities.

stick figure with lines pointing to different sections of the face and labelled: "Eyes frozen open" "Nasal icicles" "Purple lips" "Hair frozen in areas missed by the blow dryer" Iced over tear ducts" Redness in areas that aren't covered by clothing"

I was a little panicked, to say the least. It was predicted to drop down to -3 that evening.  Not a big deal... I've been through temperatures that low.


I went to a class on epublishing that day, where I learned quite a bit, and where I met a small group of wonderful people, including author Jean Tennant.  When I left that class at around 3:15, the temperature was roughly 39 degrees.

Ok.  So we have a decent 39 degree day.  A day in which I was able to walk the main street downtown without a scarf.

And it's supposed to hit -3 by the evening???


Sure enough, three hours later, it dropped to 27 degrees.
                    An hour after that?  12 degrees.

And, of course, a wind advisory was in effect.  30 mph winds with up to 50 mph gusts.

Did I mention I have dogs?  And that they need to go outside?

Oh, dear...

And did I mention we have old trees?

The kind that have gigantic branches just waiting to fall on silly desert transplants as they walk underneath them?

My dearest friend, the great Murphy, naturally showed up for a visit in the form of a short power outage while I was making dinner on our electric stove.

No big deal.

Except that my daughter began running around the pitch black house, screaming in fear at the top of her lungs, which caused the dogs to run around the house, barking at the top of their lungs, which caused my husband to yell for quiet at the top of his lungs.

In my wisdom, I remained at the un-powered stove and stayed quiet, hiding behind my spatula... you know... just in case one of my family members had genetic night vision, or something.

I then began to imagine what real Minnesotans were doing at around that same time.  You know... the kind of Minnesotans that have lived here for 15+ years.

A man and woman sitting at a table by a window, smiling.  A tree trunk is seen in the air outside.  Woman: "Is that our maple tree flying by?" Man: "Ya, you betcha!  We can cut that up and build a new table, don'cha know?"

I was so very clearly not a real Minnesotan.


At around 10:30 pm, the temperature dropped, and the wind chill lowered all the way to -20.  Since I had already taken care of supplies, and since I knew we were covered, I lost my sense of panic.  Just like any other absolutely ridiculous rational person, I threw on my heavy winter gear and like went outside to see what -20 wind chill felt like.

I ran out with my head held high, cheering myself on, and singing with the joy of victory!

Woman drawn wearing pajamas, thick boots, thick coat, a scarf, a hat, and hood pulled up.  Smiling with arms raised high.

Ok, ok... it's honesty time...

I huddled beside the back door, which was sheltered from the wind, and scoped out locations that I may feasibly be able to take the dogs out to, so that I don't end up with golden retriever sized messes on my floor, before jumping back inside the house.

But I was out there... for a few seconds...

That counts, right?

I was actually pretty proud of myself.  I did quite well for a desert rat, if I do say so myself!  This climate is unforgiving at times, and rather exciting.  Beyond that, living in Minnesota is a great learning experience.  And who knows?  Maybe someday in the future - very far future - I'll notice a sub-arctic wind chill temperature and think,

"It's a little nippy out there."

Yeah... I don't believe it, either!

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