I do not like it.

It is presently fourteen degrees outside, if my weather widget serves me correctly. Fourteen degrees. That's eighteen degrees south of water freezing. My friends, this is an atrocity, and I want to see something done about it.

You see, I've done my cold weather duty. I grew up in North Dakota. (Pause for effect....).

Every time I say that sentence - "I grew up in North Dakota..." - two things invariably happen.

  1. People blurt out "South Dakota? I had a cousin (or uncle, or hangover, or whatever) in South Dakota one time...and then go on to blab about it, completely unaware that they've named the wrong state.
  2. Once you correct them, they say "Oh - it's COLD up there. You must be used to this."
Let me state this plainly. That is one of the most rediculous things a human being has ever said, including "I think we stand a chance in the primaries, Mr. Nader"

If I were to repeatedly whack you upside the head with a 3 hole punch, at what point would you get used to it? Sure, it would hurt the first few times, but maybe after the tenth or fifteenth time, don't you think you'd start saying "You know, the ol' 3 hole punch upside the head, that's not so bad....when I was a kid we got whacked with a 5 hole punch, now buddy, that hurt!".

One does not grow accustom to the bitter cold any more than one grows accustom to bamboo under one's fingernails. Excessive experience with it does not denote a certain fondness for it. I do not like it.

In December of 1989, Kelsey had I had been married a scant six months. We moved to Williston, North Dakota to houseparent at a boys home. Even by North Dakotan standards, Williston is a cow town. Fifteen miles from Montana, it stands as the beginning of the frontier, the place where Lewis and Clark saw their first grizzly bear. It is also a place of bitter cold.

We drove a VW Jetta back in the day. We kept it parked in the heated garage, but even then, at 40 below zero, you could drive only about five blocks before every bushing, rubber bump stop, belt, cushion and tire became like concrete.

I did not like it then. I do not like it now.

Pray for warmth. A spirit of burning. Whatever. We were not meant to live this way. Can I get a witness?


Esther Irwin said...

Randy, that's one of the major reasons we moved to New Zealand. Terry really can't stand the cold, so we moved to a place that had a temperate climate all year around. 40F is about the coldest it gets and that's only about 1 day a year. We don't have a heater or air con in our house. We just either throw open the windows for a breeze or turn on the portable heater. Sometimes we do both! Come on down, mate.

Anonymous said...

Hey just thought you'd like to know that this morning it is -13 here in ND, and yesterday morning it was -26 here. The temperature got up to -6 yesterday afternoon. Now I agree one does not really get USED to it being cold, but I think somehow we trick our brains into believing it somehow could be worse, so that makes us think "it isn't so bad". Because even at -25 we have seen it worse. Our son, who is 15, took garbage out in shorts and jacket yesterday. USED to it, NO. Mind control, yes. Stay warm. Kyra

Anonymous said...

temperatures by the hour---we really have nothing else to do ya know..kyra



Ronni said...

AMEN! I'm all for global warming! (at least in this weather)...

Today we are going to give away contractor bags and blankets to the homeless. The wind chill could kill. UGH....

Consuming fire, fan into flame..... (think warm...)

Shawna said...

Ditto a thousand times...it was all your fault we moved to the frozen tundra of North Dakota in the first place. They still had to hang up that blasted flag when it was so cold. That is just wrong! One blustry day when the windchill was about -80 one of the boys thought it fun to see what would happen to just let the flag fly in the breeze. It took alot to warm the boys as well as Troy and Ron after that fiasco. Ed just stood and laughed when we told him about it.

Randy Bohlender said...

Thanks, Kyra - it would appear from your garbled link that it's so cold in North Dakota right now that the html is not working.

chuck said...

I am missing something here. Didn't they (you know, those guys) say that global warming is here to stay? Do those in charge of tracking such things ever get out of their buildings? If they did they would surely run back in and get a parka. One question, are polar bears native to Southern Illinois?

Tracie Loux said...

It's 12 degrees here on my weather widget, so it must be it's getting colder since you posted, and that's just not right!
Sun comes UP, it should get WARMER, not COLDER!

I grew up in cold, not ND cold, but cold all the same. And I am still not used to it.

Tracie Loux said...

Ok, one more comment: any thoughts on the whole weather concept of "19 degrees, feels like 7"
What's that all about!
How can it be 19 degrees and FEEL LIKE 7 degrees.
It's temperature about FEELING.
I say if it FEELS like 7 degrees it is 7 degrees!

Cathy said...

You really need to talk to (my brother) Brian in Winnipeg. It's currently -52F with the windchill. He told me a few weeks back he was outside playing hockey at -35F. You'll have plenty to talk about.

Even here in NYC today it's 6F with the windchill (20F without). I moved down to America to escape the cold! Compared to -52F, this is positively balmy!

Joyska said...

Randy, i am a Winnipeger with 10 years of experience of the -52 C windchills. You are absolutely right... you cannot get used to it... you survive it. I used to walk to work back in those days... icicles on the eyelashes and scarf frozen to your face is the memory I wish I could forget. BUT that was a "dry" cold... you could warm up... here the cold gets in your bones and even with turtle necks, sweat shirts, hot coffee and blankets... I still can't handle the cold. Although... the single pane windows may have something to do with that!

steven hamilton said...

randy -

good to here that's its cold somewhere...try coming back to maryland sometime (actually we'd love to see you guys again, but really, chaundra and i would much rather have a little more winter in our lives...)



Shelley Paulson said...

I'm late to the party, but when we left yesterday it was -12, with a windchill somewhere around 30 below. KC seems balmy by comparison. Seriously. This is what we in Snowcone call "open jacket weather".

Randy Bohlender said...

Are you in town now?!

steven hamilton said...

ok, i take back my earlier comment as my freshly shorn head crusted over with frost as i was trying to warm up at 9 degrees this morning. when i said i wanted a little more winter, i meant snow...maybe i need to start being more specific...