When I moved to Minnesota, I looked forward to having the occasional snow day. Work from home, bake something to warm up the house, feel cozy. I didn’t expect to be afraid of the temperature. Seriously. I can’t go outside without being afraid I might die if my car breaks down. Thank you, Polar Vortex!
For those who aren’t living in the Midwest, Minnesota is being pummeled by a giant swirling vortex of Arctic air. Actually, most of the country is freezing its collective ass off, but I think the Midwest is getting the worst of it.
The extreme heat in California might have been annoying, but at least I could leave the house whenever I wanted. It wasn’t a huge ordeal simply to go to the grocery store. Here it takes careful planning and consulting of various maps, weather status, and clothing layers. Also I need to figure out how to drive on ice since Saint Paul is notorious for doing a shitty job of clearing the roads.
It is nice to have a legitimate excuse to stay inside, but a -50 wind-chill is insane.
In California, when the heat would climb above 100, the local news would try to see what would fry the sidewalk or melt inside a car. In Minnesota, I keep seeing people trying to freeze stuff…a wet t-shirt, wet baloney on a piece of metal…this was to simulate a tongue freezing to a metal pole.
And while I have noticed a significant drop in traffic driving up and down my street, I wonder and worry about those who are out and about. Am I being overly cautious about hunkering down inside? Or are those poor souls forced to go out in this potentially dangerous situation as the National Weather Service called it?
Since it’s so damn cold outside, I keep waiting for various things to break down…like on a molecular level. Then I kept remembering owner’s manuals for various appliances and wonder if the temperatures are exceeding the suggested levels. Sure, I’ve worried about things getting too hot, but too cold? What? Of course, one of the reasons I was afraid to go outside was that my car might not start after sitting in subzero temps for a significant length of time. Not a fan of being stranded, especially when I can avoid it.
On top of this lovely weather, I’ve been sick for going on two weeks now. Yesterday was the first day I felt a semblance of normal (normalcy is not a word). I do not want to risk this stupid cold turning into pneumonia or bronchitis because I simply didn’t stay home.
All I know is that I now have a new appreciation for those people who keep things running, like police, firefighters, postal workers, tow truck drivers, janitors, taxi drivers, delivery truck drivers/workers, bus drivers, baristas, sandwich makers, and whoever is running the gas station. Seriously, if you do go out and use a service today and tomorrow, thank those who braved the cold to get to their jobs which made your life just that much easier.
(Knocking on wood that pipes haven’t burst!)