Monday, January 21, 2013

Winter's Bane

I believe there is movie of this title that I've not seen. I know absolutely nothing about it, but because the title deals with winter, I believe I will avoid it until the heat of summer.

Today is the coldest day in Minnesota for the past four years. That is significant, and it's bloody cold. As I type this, it is ten-below-zero air temperature, and negative thirty-one with wind chill. This is Minneapolis, folks. We have the "Urban Heat Effect" which basically means we have milder temps than the rest of the state, yet it feels like -31 right now.

Many of you know how much I love the cold. And if you know me at all, you know that I just lied. I can accept 78 degrees, but 95 is where I'm comfortable. That is a 126 degree difference to what the current temperature is.


I have become very good at avoiding the outdoors during the wintertime. I rarely get talked into "playing outside" even for "just a few minutes" because "it's not that cold out!" Because it is that cold out. Believe me.

I am able to comfort myself a little on days like today by reminding myself that every record breaking cold temperature day I spend in Minnesota, is one frigid day closer to moving to warm weather climates where 80 degrees seems a bit nippy.

When I was a little boy, fifty below didn't bother me. I just didn't think about it. I would carry five-gallon buckets of warm water across the yard to my dad's goats in temperatures that would cause frostbite in ten minutes. That was life and that was OK. Then I started traveling and I found places where warm weather was the norm and I fell in love with heat. I was ruined for the cold and I didn't care. I started researching what it would take for me to get back to those countries as quickly as possible.

One of those steps is finishing a bachelor's degree, which will be mine to claim in five short months. I will not make any promises that I will still be living in Minnesota come June.

During my cold weather days, I know what it takes to keep my spirits up. Living in conditions that are less than prime forces you to know yourself in a way that a comfortable lifestyle cannot offer. It is similar to my diet. I have learned so much about myself by restricting what I take in. In the same way, frigid days force me to find healthy ways to function when I just want to hide under my covers until spring comes knocking on my door.

The best thing I can do on days like today is leave my one-room apartment and write. Or hang out with my friends. Today I choose writing. Though this is more of a collection of rambled thoughts than a story, I find solace from the harsh cold in writing it. Thank you for hanging in there with me.