Monday, January 12, 2009

Snap, It's Cold

We've had a record-breaking cold spell these last many days. Every morning I shuffle down to the kitchen and open the blinds to check the outside thermometer, hoping that this will be the day the mercury has warmed up past zero°. Nope.

I went to university in Fairbanks, Alaska, where each February the temperature drops to –30° for a solid two weeks, so I realize that I'm a wuss for even suggesting that our current air has a chill to it. If you've never walked out in –30° weather, you don't know the meaning of cold. Heaven forbid you have earrings in your lobes, because those posts will feel like tiny rods of liquid nitrogen. And you better pray you can see without your glasses, because wearing frames across your nasal bone at –30° will give new meaning to the phrase, brain freeze

If there's one thing I learned from living through Fairbanks winters as a broke college student, it's gratefulness. As I sit here, many years removed from those times of suffering, I am immensely thankful for a heated, attached garage that allows me to transfer the babies from house to car without exposing them to the harsh elements. After years of living in apartments, sometimes lucky enough to score an assigned space (but most of the time having to park on the street), I so appreciate my husband parking out in the cold so that I don't have to plug in my minivan, scrape its windows, and warm it up for 10 minutes before driving. Speaking of minivan, I don't care that it's a frumpy, low-status mommy mobile. I love her reliable engine, heated seats, and handy cupholders for our mugs of hot beverages.

I feel incredibly blessed also for our house—sturdy and comfortable and toasty warm— and our woodburning stove—crackling and cozy and helping us save money on our heating bill. I recall, oh so clearly, living in married student housing where we had to wear layers of clothing and 2 pairs of socks to stay warm, close the curtains over iced windows to keep the cold air from wafting into the room, and place a rolled towel underneath the door to block the freezing draft.

Sitting here in my soft fleece robe and fuzzy slippers, sipping my cup o' joe, I am one grateful blogger. And thinking about all my bloggy friends makes even my heart feel warm * awkward pause * I've gone too far, haven't I? Moving right along . . .

I hope you got a chance to check out the full moon over the weekend, or even over the past week, since it seemed to keep getting bigger and closer over the course of several days (I'm pretty sure the moon can change its size and location). Up here in the frozen north, we actually saw it best in the daytime! I wish I had some awesome pictures to show you, but all I've got are these:

taken at about 4:30 in the afternoon

taken at about 10:00 in the morning
(to get an idea of how ginormous the moon looked,
check out Sleeping Lady to the left—that's a very large mountain)

Dinner last night: chicken-rice-and-mushroom soup, cheesy ranch bread


Helene said...

Looking at all that snow makes me feel cold for you!! I would imagine it's fun at first but then after a few weeks of it, you just want spring to come.

The full moon has been beautiful to look at! My kids have been starting at it every night and the other day Garrett walked outside and pointed at it and said "moon". His first real word!! Not mama or dada but "moon"!

I love your pics...always so beautiful!

Scribbit said...

Beautiful moon shot--and I've been so grateful for our warmer temps today, 40 degrees warmer!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim,

I'm enjoying reading your blog almost everyday.

We've had a beautiful full moon here, too. I enjoyed your photos.

We were -5 this morning. So was Fairbanks. After their recent intense cold (-40+), I'll bet -5 feels almost tropical. In Grinnell it is regarded at "bitterly cold."

I laugh, also remembering those -30 ,-40, and even colder days with ice fog and no garage.

Sara's been running her dogs and skijoring despite the cold.

Sweaters and some books will be on the way soon. I'm just searching for some photos of Jean and Sara wearing them.


twinmamabee said...

As I write this we are getting a bunch of snow...well, it was a bunch of snow until I saw your pictures! (Really love the last two pictures - you could frame those and sell them!)

Your description of gratefulness is amazing. I really needed to read that. Twindada got laid off last week and I have been moping around for a week thus my absence and lack of posts to my blog. I need to be grateful! Thanks for making me think about where I was and where I am at now.