I donít think Iíve ever been quite as happy to see the sky darken with looming storm clouds as I was this afternoon. This morning was the coldest of an arctic cold snap that has seen temperatures plummet to record lows. The whole yard was still frosted over when I got up (and I donít get up all that early). I delayed my errand run until almost noon, and by then it was still just 37ļF, which for the North Bay is really, really cold.
Itís of no comfort whatsoever that this is happening all over the country, only worse. The Midwest was built up around the cold that is expected there every winter, and while I sympathize with their plight, I have my own deep freeze to deal with here. And by the way, itís of even less comfort when I look up at the TV set that hovers over the line at the bank and see that tennis players are having to play in 115ļF heat at the Australian Open.
The worst thing about the cold isnít the cold itself. This cold, dry air is giving me electrical shocks every time I touch anything. I was reaching for something on my desk today and accidentally brushed my finger against a thumbtack, and it sizzled all the way up my arm. When I get out of my car, I have to shut the door with my shoe or risk a jolt. And the frozen food doors at the supermarket? Iíll do without my ice cream until this is over.
Not that the ridiculous chill kept me from doing what needed to be done today. I even walked my six blocks to and from the post office, but only because there was no parking space anywhere near the building. Still, I could have given up, right? And gone home and bundled up and never ventured out again? But I walked in the cold without shattering any bones, or whatever it is extreme weather is supposed to do to a person.