Cold Snap

Yesterday, I was teaching Lily negative numbers. We were in the van, and looking at the outside temperature display. We started at 38 degrees in the garage, and then as we drove it went down to 17 degrees, 11 degrees…2 degrees, 0 degrees, and finally stopped at -4 degrees. Brr!

My cousin in Alaska reports that when you spit and it’s -30, it freezes before it hits the ground. When you blow bubbles they freeze mid-air. She sent me a picture of what -20 looks like. She had to wait until it was light outside to take it…at 10:00 a.m.

This morning, Ed spit in the parking lot when he got to work at 6:30–but it didn’t freeze that quickly. It was only -14 degrees.

I don’t dread these sub-zero temperatures like I used to. When I was living alone in a garden level apartment (sounds fancy, doesn’t it? It was a basement.) I drove a silver 1988 Buick Skyhawk. I loved that car. Only thing was, it didn’t start when it was cold. So I resorted to some pretty strange strategies to make sure I was able to get to work the next morning. When you’re a teacher, being late is a bad thing. Unsupervised eight-year-olds running around? That’s just not good.

I put a warm, toasty wool blanket under the hood overnight. I had to tape a note to the steering wheel so I wouldn’t forget and destroy the engine when I started it.

I would set my alarm for 2:00 a.m. and drive my car around town for 15 minutes. The streets were pretty deserted at that time of night.

I finally had a block heater installed in the Buick, and ran a really long extension cord from my window to the car. On the coldest nights of the year I had my window cracked with a towel stuffed in it. I wonder what people thought when they saw this bright orange cord running from my window to the parking lot! Probably along the lines of “crazy lives there.”

And that’s why I don’t dread these cold nights like I used to. I know, you’re still thinking “crazy lives there!”

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