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Friday, January 16, 2009

How cold is it?

It is cold here.

How cold is it? Last night it went to minus 31 degrees Celsius. At minus 32, the temperature is the same in Celsius and Fahrenheit.

But what does it really mean?

When you open the door to go outside in the morning the door hinges screech in protest. It doesn't matter whether or not they are well oiled, at this temperature hinges are cranky.

If you inhale through your nose too quickly, your nostrils stick together.

When you step onto the packed snow, it squeaks like Styrofoam packing. In fact, I can wear my slippers for a quick dash to put out the garbage, knowing that they will not be wet when I return.

The sky is brilliantly blindingly blue and the sun makes the snow sparkle like diamond dust. There are no clouds on days this cold.

If your car has a tape machine in it, the tapes do not work. They drone out eerie complaints when asked to produce music.

Last night as I paused before I stepped into the house, I heard the slap of a puck bouncing against the wooden rink boards. I could even hear the slicing of skates on the ice. The outdoor rink is in the school yard around the corner and sound travels clearly to our house when the temperature drops.

Cars slide all over the road since they are icy. Salt does not work at this temperature and sand can only do so much.

Our cravings turn to hot chocolate and woollen socks.

Winter days like today are painfully beautiful.


Jenny said...

I agree with the painful part, but beautiful only if you don't have to leave the house.
More importantly, is winter almost over yet? Soon?
(You so cannot tell I come from further up North where school was canceled twice this week because of the extreme temperatures.)

Baking Soda said...

I can only begin to imagine.. (truth be told I cannot ;) Holland is back to it's rainy windy cold self. We even have a word for this kind of cold: watercold..yeah right, pretty fancy huh?

Nithya said...

Dear BC,
Thank you for reminding me again, why I love reading your blog.