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Saturday, February 03, 2007

COLD!

It seems that true winter has finally hit Minnesnowta. We still don't have a lot of snow, but no complaints about that. My favorite sport, skiing, has this wonderful stuff called "artificial snow" and the two-dimensional "flakes" actually make the slopes faster. So no complaints from me on the lack of real snow.

But the cold! Oy vey! Uff Da!

It's -6 F here right now. This morning I took my greyhound out very quickly. He did the minimum of what he had to do and raced for the door, with me in tow.

I took the German Shepherd for an actual walk because otherwise, she just won't "go". I was all bundled up, and initially I was warm but for my exposed cheeks and the tip of my nose.

We were only a block away, and she was adopting a strange, hopping gait as though she feared placing her paws directly on the ground.

And then she caught site of another owner-cicle walking his or her dog-cicle, and my girl, in spite of her hopping-it's-too-cold-gait, became far more interested in the other dogcicle than she was in going potty.

We diverted off course into the park, as I was hoping she would lose interest in the other frozen duo and get her business done. Nope. She continually turned around to look at them.

I had to take her behind a building, which only shuttled the frigid wind directly at us, and walk her in circles until the other frozen characters on the other side of the park (by that time) were finally out of sight. Then she did her business.

And by then I was so frozen I could barely walk. That wind is FRIGID!

It was literally painful to walk on legs I couldn't feel anymore, and yes, I realize how that sentence makes no sense. And yet it WAS.

In college, I was on the Nordic Ski Team, and I remember one day they actually cancelled class due to the cold. It was frigid and windy, giving us -75 to -85 F. windchills.

So I took the opportunity to spend my sudden "free" day...in skiiing! Sure, I bundled up, actually wore a ski mask, wore a LOT more clothing than usual for this strenuous activity...and so when I started out, I was fine. I even prided myself on my ability to "survive" in such harsh temperatures. I was "hard-core."

As I started out, though, I realized that they likely didn't even MAKE a wax for this particular snow temperature. It was like skiing on styrofoam, and sounded like it, too. I'm quite certain that had I been able to form a cup out of the material, and pour boiling hot chocolate into it, it would not even have melted.

So I labored to ski, and considered it to be good for conditioning. Yet I wasn't a complete and total idiot; so I didn't take the long trail. I wanted to be able to turn around and go home if needed.

And so I did. I realized the cold had me beat so I took my first possible turnaround and headed back home. By then I was fairly well into the bluffs and they acted as a sort of wind-tunnel, and now I was face-into it.

I realized around this point that I could really be in trouble because I was colder than I had even realized. Even my movement, pushing hard against the snow, skating, was futile in maintaining a decent core temperature as the wind was convecting it all away.

I nearly cried with relief when I arrived back at soccer field in front of the college center, and when my feet hit the pavement to carry me back to the ski room - well, I think they nearly shattered. But I didn't care. I would be warm again.

And so I realize that my compaints about today's temps is really ridiculous because here in MN we have ALL experienced much worse. And yet, each year, it's a new thing, and we have to get used to it, and we do as needed.


Oh, and as an update on the bread crust...it's still hanging out in the bush outside my door. It has slightly changed position. I think in a previous life it was either Italian or French bread.

2 comments:

Ray from MN said...

Dog-cicle, Owner-sicle!

Brilliant, Adoro, you have cemented your place in history for when they write the history of those words, which are certain to catch on, the world will go nuts wondering who Adoro Te Devote is/was.

At least the world north of 45 degrees North Latitude.

Adoro Te Devote said...

I once wrote an intentionally-bad haiku about poop-cicles. It referred to the frozen "treats" left by my not-so-considerate neighbors to my East in the apartment complex. They don't like to pick up.

I decided not to mention those today because I picked up after my dogcicle.

:-)

I wish I could remember my haiku. It was really, really bad. I think I got honorable mention in the contest.