Good chilly blanket-wrapped morning!
I hope you’re keeping warm, readers.
Let’s pour a cup of coffee–or would you like tea?–or hot cocoa?–and chat for a spell.
So many everyday conversations begin and end with weather these days. Our thermometer shivers at -10 (-23 C) this still-dark Tuesday morn. My husband just warmed the car in the driveway (it started suspiciously with that telltale err-err-err sound even though he bought a new battery last week) and drove through -32 (-35 C)wind chills to his job at the Sentinel.
I, on the other hand, live in the lap of wood stove stoking luxury. Most of our schoolchildren in the western Upper Peninsula stay at home, protected from that wind chill, yesterday and today. Therefore, I stay at home.
Theoretically, that is.
Yesterday morning, I drove in to the school and prepared for Wednesday night’s school board meeting. The trip proved rather uneventful, except for the car’s bright light and dimmer switch, which is not behaving. The car must go into the shop for repair, except the multi-function switch (which has been replaced before) costs, oh, maybe $375 plus labor, so we’re pondering this briefly before making an appointment, thinking perhaps it might miraculously fix itself.
You must understand I am not complaining, dear reader. I am trying to merely factually describe what is happening these days.
So last night’s temperatures hovered in this range. The wind blew snow sideways creating whiteouts.
Our township meeting started at 7 p.m.
At 4:30 p.m. the phone rang. It was our township clerk.
“Are we cancelling the meeting?” I asked breathlessly, hopefully.
“I wish!” she said. “Nah, I need you to pick me up. Our diesel isn’t plugged in so it probably won’t start.”
“OK,” I replied, frowning a bit, because wouldn’t it be nice to stay home inside when dire warnings flash across national headlines like EVERYONE STAY HOME!
At 5:15 p.m. I call the supervisor.
“What about cancelling the meeting?” I asked.
“You girls are always trying to cancel the meeting,” teased the supervisor (OK, I’m choosing to interpret this as teasing.) “What would you do if it got REALLY cold? This isn’t cold at all!”
In his defense, he was referring to the many days of -25 (-31 C) temperatures we often experienced “back in the days”. During these toasty times of global warming it rarely dips below -10 (-23 C).
Dear readers, at this point I had a choice. I could say, OK-Dokey, have fun at the meeting without me. Or, “C’mon, I INSIST we cancel the meeting!” but sometimes we crazy Yoopers (Upper Peninsula folk) just go with the flow.
“See you at 7,” sighed I.
In the meantime I called the assessor who lives 45 miles away and said, “Don’t come.” Called the 82-year old zoning and administrator who lives in town and left a message on his machine, “Don’t come to the meeting.”
And off I scurried on an adventure. Took the car whose headlights worked properly. Barry heated her up for fifteen minutes. I dressed in snow pants, heavy snow jacket, warm boots, scarf, mittens, everything but the kitchen sink. Crept along at 35 mph through sometimes whiteout conditions headed ten miles toward the fire hall.
Picked up the clerk half way.
“This is terrible!” she complained.
We laughed as we drove to the meeting.
Two community members showed up.
The meeting lasted a half hour.
We crept back toward home, joking all the way.
“Call me at 8,” I told the clerk after dropping her off. “If I don’t answer–you must come and find me.”
“Oh great!” she sighed. (But I knew she would come a’searchin’ if necessary.)
By 7:50 I arrived home.
All disasters averted. Home safe & sound.
Just another winter day in a Polar Vortex in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
You all staying safe and warm?