I am staying home sick today as my sinus cavities seem to be having a convention and the attendees are packed in to the extent that my head feels like one of those giant head balloon characters in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A lovely visual – what can I say -I have to tell it like it is.
So, today I will be brief (or at least what registers as brief in my world), but no promises as to whether I will be coherent. Yesterday, in a meeting wherein risk assessment for the university was discussed, the topic of extremely cold temperatures came up and it reminded me of how far I have come as a North Dakota transplant.
In my first winter in North Dakota I donned my heavy duty winter coat, gloves and scarf when the temperature dipped to 40 degrees.
When the temperature dropped to 30 degrees I let go of any allusions I had that I could be fashionable in such weather and purchased thermal underwear.
When the temperature dropped to 20 degrees I learned the art of layering and added a layer for each ten degree temperature drop below 40 degrees.
When the temperature dropped to 10 degrees I realized that with all the extra layers I was going to need a bigger coat.
When the temperature dropped to zero degrees I sought out a therapist to help me understand why I willingly moved to the state.
When the temperature dropped below zero degrees I rationalized that I might as well move to Alaska with all those cute bachelors which would at least theoretically raise my body temperature somewhat.
As I enter year 12 in North Dakota things have changed.
At 40 degrees I say, “What a beautiful day!”
At 30 degrees I say, “What a beautiful day!” and I wear my leather jacket (mostly for looks).
At 20 degrees I get out my lighter winter coat, scarf and gloves, but I don’t zip my coat, keep the gloves in my pocket and select the scarf based on my outfit for the day not based on warmth.
At 10 degrees I break out the real winter coat and the more functional scarf and gloves, but don’t want to add any visual weight to my frame by layering.
At zero degrees I move to a dual layering system that is not too bulky (the days of thermal underwaer are long gone).
At below zero I still rationalize that I might as well move to Alaska with all those cute bachelors which would at least theoretically raise my body temperature somewhat, but then I realize spring is only a few months away.
Acclimatization – it is an amazing thing. It can turn a California girl into a North Dakota girl in the blink of an icy thermometer. Albeit, when it gets below zero the allure of Alaska remains…for at least a little while.
Day one hundred and two of the new forty – obla di obla da