They say January is the coldest month of the year around here.
This morning when I got up it had dropped down to -22 degrees. (That is Fahrenheit folks.) It actually might have been a little colder than -22, but our digital outdoor thermometer doesn’t go any lower. It didn’t get much colder, however, because a short time later it came back up to -21.8. It is still -21.6. Yes, you have to love the precision of those digital thermometers. They tell you precisely how absoloutely freezing cold it is out there.
It is almost amazing how utterly arctic it can feel around here on cold mornings. Invariably, when it is a very cold morning it is also a clear morning. As the sun comes up the sky turns from dark to a chilly blue. The blue looks clear, cold, and weak. And when the sun comes up and touches the barren trees on the hillside, the sunlight looks weak, too. It seems as if the cold is the only thing that has strength, and that is a hidden biting strength. The world almost feels as if it is frozen in time.
From inside it can feel a bit cool to see how the storm windows can frost completely over. From inside can feel nice and cozy. But the furnace turning on and running what seems almost constantly is a reminder of exactly what is being kept at bay outside the house. If you step outside the full chill comes crashing against your body. Your heat is simply sucked away.
The weather is like arctic-lite. We have occassional nights of double-digit chill, but every day when the sun comes up the tempratures will crawl back above zero. It is just a brief taste of the arctic, reminding us of where we don’t want to live.