And loving it! I love the sensation of being bundled up. I love having the ability to kind of be at the right temperature. One of my chief complaints about my location here is the heat. I don’t tolerate heat well, and I can’t control my body temperature. Much of the time, it feels to me like I have heat radiating off of my legs, like when I put a blanket on. Then there are times when I can’t get warm, and have freezing arms, legs and feet. The upside to the cold is that I can add layers to try to get warm, which might take a while, but can happen. I have learned that when I am hot, I’m just hot, and even cold showers only help for a very brief amount of time.
We’ve been in a cold snap here, that is not breaking records, but is something not seen in over 50 years. We’ve been well below zero, with morning temperatures at -17 and a daily high of below 20. Many people move to the desert southwest (and certainly, a very large percentage of our population are retirees) to avoid the snow and cold. Our town doesn’t have a snowplow. We usually don’t get much snow, and if we do get snow, it is usually gone (regardless of how many inches) within a day or two.
This cold snap has been hard for our state, primarily because we’ve had a gas shortage. Some folks have been without gas for 6 plus days. Not all of those days have been brutally cold during the day, but temperatures are very, very cold at night in particular. So, last week, we had days off of school. While we had just a dusting of snow on the ground (a little more than an inch in places), we had no public school for two days. Because of the gas shortage, the governor closed the schools.
What I’ve found particularly interesting is the amount of damage the cold has done to the state. The state’s major school district has had numerous pipes burst. When we had a cold snap about a month ago, there was a lot of damage from frozen and then thawing pipes. And that town has also had major road disruption from water main breaks as well. Now this week, we heard about a school that had 7 to 8 feet of water in the basement, before the leak was found.
Now, I know the water was in the basement. And I know that over the weekend, there probably aren’t people poking around in school. But, knowing the cold, wouldn’t have someone gone and checked? I remember numerous times my dad (a former school superintendent at the same district for 40 years; 31 as superintendent) going to school and checking on things. I can only assume that building codes for things like pipe insulation are vastly different depending on state location. I admit, this situation left me scratching my head.
Today, heat (natural gas) is back on for most everyone in the state. To add insult to injury, the gas company is going to ask the PRC (Public Regulation Commission) for a rate hike.
The thing with the cold here is that there are legitimately people who don’t have the clothes – and the means to buy new clothes – to keep them warm. A trip to the local Wal-Mart will show you this. People are worried about the rising cost of necessities, and for those living in a temperate climate like we usually have, that can mean clothes that may or may not be needed don’t make that list.
I love the cold. I love the snow. There is something soothing to my soul to watch the snow come down. I am often reminded that I feel this way because I don’t have to be out in it on purpose.
I know so many others that are tired of the snow and the headache of daily life in miserable and often dangerous cold conditions. I wonder if I would be in that camp if I was living there, too?
So, as I sit bundled up under blankies and shawls, holding a hot cup of tea to warm my hands and chuckling as my glasses steam up as I drink it, I am grateful. I am appreciative to have had days off from running with “legitimate” reasons besides pain. I am grateful to have the ability to get warm. I am grateful to have the ability to hunker down with the kids on days off from school. This is something I could get used to!