Sunday, February 09, 2014

Cold with a Capital C

This has been something absurd like the coldest winter ever for Nashville. Or maybe one of the top three coldest winters ever. Whatever the history books show, I can tell you that it's definitely been the coldest winter in my history in Nashville.

In November, I signed up to run the Boulevard Bolt, the annual Thanksgiving Day 5 mile run to benefit homeless ministries in Nashville. At race time, it was 17 degrees. Every time I took a breath, I could feel little ice crystals forming inside my nose and lungs, like an animated graphic for a spearmint chewing gum. I ran the whole race without stopping because I was afraid my joints would freeze into place if I stopped moving.

But hey, I thought, that was an anomaly. Nope. We have had a whole string of frigid weather here, including a handful of days and nights when the temperature dipped way, way down into the low single digits.

Brrrr. That's practically Laura Ingalls Wilder weather. I started to tell William the story of her book "The Long Weather" and then got halfway into it before realizing that maybe it wasn't such a good idea to tell a seven-year-old about how a bunch of people froze to death on the prairie, except for the author and her family, who only merely nearly starved to death.

After our years in the desert, I actually don't mind winter. I'd rather be bundled up in a coat and scarf for a few months than spend a few months burning the top three layers of skin off the palms of my hands on my car's steering wheel because it's 120 degree outside. But single digit temps are nearly as bad as triple digit temps. Just in the opposite direction. They all burn.

I've been known to grumpily instruct William to put on a sweater or another sweater because I was cold.

"Mom, I'm okay," he'll protest. "We're inside the house. It's nice and warm in here. I'm fine."

"No, you're not," I'll retort. "You're freezing cold. Put that sweater on right now. Here, maybe you should wear two."

Don't even get me started about Andrew's habit of pulling his socks off when he comes inside. Or the way that he'll try to put on his Crocs when it's time to go outside. Crocs without socks, natch.

It's been so cold that I've actually seriously considered going around without a coat on, on the few days when it's gotten as warm as 40. Because it seems warm, you see.

At any rate, we're nine days in February now, and it's still cold. We haven't had much snow and ice this winter, fortunately, although William's school was cancelled a few times anyway due to extreme cold. The boys, however, are jonesing for some real snow. They're tired of the sweet flurries that we tend to get on a regular basis--the ones that float gently from the sky before disappearing on contact with...well, anything. For their sake, I do hope we get a Real Snow at some point this winter. I nearly bought a sled on massive clearance for five bucks at Target a few days ago before deciding that would jinx their chances. Just one snow that's deep enough for some sledding or for one good snowball fight. That would be fine.

Of course, I say that, and watch a blizzard roll in the day before Andrew's fourth birthday party, which he's been looking forward to for weeks. Can I amend that wish?