Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Baby, It's Cold Outside

School will start two hours late today and tomorrow because -- now, brace yourselves Northern friends and relations -- it's cold.

There's no ice. No snow. No precipitation of any variety. But it's, umm, 20 degrees or so.

School is delayed.

Augusta's last big snowstorm.
As for me, well, I am of two minds on this. The Northerner in me is scoffing, but she is quickly and forcefully subdued by the mother in me who is, like, whoooo-weeeee!  The opportunity to sleep late two days in row? Hey, by my way of thinking, this is better than a snow day.

My kids have experienced the shock of cold, cold weather on our Christmas jaunts to Michigan. We flew into Detroit one icy evening. I hustled Tim and Kolbe into the airport bathroom to put pajamas on under their regular clothes. I thought we'd freeze just standing at the baggage carousel as every time the double doors opened a blast of frigid air hit hard. One of the kids was crying by the time we reached the car.

One Christmas we headed to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. Carolers in colonial costumes, glass blowers, ice skating -- it would have been the perfect way to pass a winter evening except that it was,  like, 3 degrees. I remember pushing Kolbe in an umbrella stroller. I bumped into the curb and a piece of the metal frame cracked in two.

That's cold.

Our last few winter visits have brought the opportunity to sled and snowmobile in relatively warm weather (around the 20 degree temps that closed our schools). Sledding at 20 degrees is so much more fun than attempting to sled at 9 degrees when we feel obligated to take advantage of having fun in the snow even if no one is actually having any fun whatsoever.

I remember playing in the snow at my sister's farm with Kolbe and my nephew, Nate, who were both about three. Nate, bundled like Randy in A Christmas Story, was clearly no stranger to frigid air. Kolbe, similarly dressed, was so totally out of his element. He kept pulling off his mittens and stumbling around on the ice. Dave was pushing him up a little hill when Kolbe face-planted in a snow drift and said, "I wanna go in that farmer's house!"

When it comes to weather, the grass is always greener, the snow is always thicker, on the other side of the lake. As kids we used to watch the weather reports hoping, hoping, hoping to see that magical list of school closings scroll down the screen, eyes pealed for Oakland County Schools. Regardless of our own fate, we figured those lucky dogs in Buffalo never went to school. If we got three inches of snow, Buffalo got eight. If we got nine inches, no one could even find Buffalo.

Ice seems to be the great equalizer. We flew into Boston a few years back and landed in one of the worst ice storms New England had ever faced. Seems Northern power lines fall just as fast as Southern lines. Roads clear up much faster in colder climates which have salt trucks as opposed to Augusta where icy bridges are covered with sand.

(And after I wrote this, I went out to start our trusty van which just barely sputtered to life in air far, far colder than it is used to, poor thing).


Kris said...

My ancient Suburban with 210,000 miles on it was NOT happy this morning when I cranked her up! It was 6 on the temperature gauge and the weather man said a windchill of -7. I just bought my 15 year old a new winter coat - he protested and protested the entire 10 minutes it took us to shop and choose one. Never going to wear it. Too bulky. Don't need it. Blah, blah, blah. The only thing I heard this morning as he was on his way out the door, in the dark, to go to school was "it's so warm and toasty in this coat". Um. How about "thanks, Mom". Or even better, "you were right, Mom". Never happens.

Kelly Dolin said...

Oh, Kris, I am just laughing, laughing, laughing. My kids' idea of a winter coat? A fleece pullover. And 90% of the time, that's all we need round here.

Kris said...

At our house? Winter coat = sweatshirt or hoodie. Seriously. My oldest son just got accepted to Notre Dame and Villanova for college. And he's seriously considering them. That boy is going to FREEZE his first year if he ends up there.