Cold Calling, or Why I Love my Wool Socks

Hi guys!  I hope you’re staying somewhere warm this crazy-cold first week of January.  It seems like the weather THE story on the local news right now.  Of course, in North Carolina, even whispers of snow are met with great excitement.  It was all anyone at work could talk about on Wednesday, even before the flurries ever started.  I even left work earlier than I usually do on Wednesday to make sure I got home before anything started falling–and it didn’t start falling until around 10 p.m.

It has been pretty cold—bone-chillingly so, really.  And from my experience, while Carolina cools down in the winter, temperatures in the single digits just aren’t welcome or appreciated.  When the local meteorologists forecast even the possibility of snow or ice, there is a run on milk and bread at the grocery stores.  (I never quite figured that one out.  If the power goes out and you’re stuck at home, what will you do with the milk and bread?  There’s never a similar run on sandwich fixings or cereal.  So maybe…milk sandwiches?)  The school systems, in their infinite wisdom, often announce the decisions to close before any inclement weather actually hits (which, if you take into account some of the crazy ice-driving we find down here, may not be a bad idea.  See the anecdote below.), and that means sometimes kids are home from school without any winter weather event reaching the ground at all.  And sometimes, sometimes people go to work and school and think that they’ll just leave when it starts snowing and everything will be okay…

And while our friends to the north may have their inclement weather plans down to a science, we just aren’t on the same wavelength when it comes to driving in snow and ice.  A couple of years ago, I worked for a lady who was a Pennsylvania native.  When the big blizzard blew in while we were at the office, she continued to discuss the details of a project that I had been working on for her.  While I was anxious to get on the road when the first flakes started to fall, she was completely unconcerned.  Her advice was to “drive slow,” and everything would be okay.  She was, after all, from Pennsylvania, where it snows all the time in the winter.  That day I spent SEVEN HOURS trying to drive the thirteen miles from my office to my chilly little apartment.  Standstill traffic all over town.  Cars sliding off the roads all along the route, and I wound up abandoning my car in a grocery store parking lot to walk the last mile home (ruining my work flats in the process).  I only made it that far because a saint of a woman and her two teenage sons were standing at an intersection at the top of a hill (about halfway along my route) and helping push cars up the hill.  I never got her name, but I have never forgotten her or her sons.

I think things get this way because we tend to be warm weather people.  We love spring and summer, our 80 and 90 degree days, and we forget that there’s a possibility that winter might treat us to stretches of bitter cold.  The local news folks are now reporting that the Triangle Area of North Carolina has broken our previous record of consecutive hours below freezing—we are now over 159 hours (that’s over six days!) of continuous freezing temperatures.  (I’m not kidding.  Look.)  That may not be a big deal for Pennsylvania, (or Minnesota, or Alaska…) but it’s definitely a big deal for Carolina.  We like breaking records, but this is probably one we could have left well enough alone and been content.

I know at least one person, however, who was thrilled about the blast of arctic air we’ve been dealing with:

“I hear you, but I’m ignoring you right now.”
“Okay, okay, I’ll pose. Is this good enough for you?”

This is Luna’s favorite time of year—and she’s lucky if she gets more than just a few days with stuff on the ground.  I know it looks pitiful in comparison to other places around the area.  Apparently our neighborhood was in a bubble—folks all around us got walloped, while the people with the Siberian husky got a half inch and patches of ice.  But it gets better.  The local forecast, in true Carolina fashion, is also predicting temperatures in the sixties by the end of the week.  At least we have that to look forward to!