A few things happen to your perception when you experience sub-zero temperatures on a regular basis. First of all, you gain perspective. I've spoken of this before. The difference between minus twenty and twenty degrees fahrenheit is a whopping forty degrees. Your body can tell. We went from minus fifteen on a Monday night to twenty-five on a Friday, and I sweat all day long. Everywhere I went, I felt like a swamp walking around. I walked from train station to destination with no hat or scarf and breathed easy. I kept my hair up off of my neck while working to avoid oceans of sweat. Twenty-five degrees is a walk in the park after the bitter cold of an early February midnight in Chicago. I welcome them to become more frequent.
|Please note that this is not the wind-chill. This is the current actual temperature, and we are looking forward to dropping another nine degrees before the sun comes up.|
Finally, you get a bit of the "fever." How do you know you have it? Let's see. I find myself laughing hysterically as I fling my body across my car to shovel yet another foot of snow from the windshield. The banks of snow kicked back by the moving cars become ice enclosed spaces for the parked cars. I have learned to expertly parallel park by flinging my car blindly over an ice dune into a small pocket left behind by the car previously inhabiting that space. My wheels get a little whiny at times, but with a little love, and a lot of insane laughing/fogging up my windshield so that it also freezes on the inside, my car nestles comfortably into its new space.
|A "dibs" chair. If you take the time to shovel your parking space, you get to call "dibs" by using a chair, a table, a manger, or really anything that lets the rest of the block know: DIBS.|
|Linus rushes out for a quick bathroom break after about twelve hours of new snow.|
I have had my moment of break down...I think. I found myself furiously stirring chocolate pudding to satiate my chocolate hunger on a day when I couldn't bring myself to leave the house. Linus stood and stared at me as I stirred and babbled to myself about the necessity of meeting myself head-on in my darkest moments instead of running away from it all. He was just hoping he would get some chocolate. Instead, I gave him a little peanut butter just for sticking around while I mumbled.
|A lovely walk in the snow turned sour because the wind would not stop blowing the snow into my eyes. Linus hated it too.|
The world keeps on turning. The fire of life keeps burning. It's good to know that we didn't start it, though. It's been burning since the world's been turning, Billy Joel. The snow will go just as surely as it came, and the leaves will return to the trees. A life without hope is no life at all. I'm grateful I can still find it even after sliding wildly down an ice bank whilst trying to get back into my car after a long night at work. I'm even more grateful that I can laugh about it.
In two weeks, I'll begin my inside seed starters for the spring. IN TWO WEEKS.