I got up this morning and the temperature was -15 degrees. That's Fahrenheit, folks! It's even colder in Celsius. (-26 according to a temperature converter.) And that is OFFICIALLY Too Cold For Human Life.
This is probably the hardest winter I've had for something like 15 years. And when it is this cold, it is harder. Cars don't start, and if they do, they aren't anything like warm for quite a long time. And thanks to carjacking, it's stupid--if not downright illegal--to leave a car running unattended while you let it warm up.
I had to fill my Prius yesterday, and it was so cold that something inside the tank was apparently frozen, and I couldn't put more than 2 gallons into it at first. It was so cold the other day that the controls froze, and I couldn't turn off the radio, or change stations, or change the climate controls, or much of anything until the car warmed up. Which I had to do while sitting in the damn thing, because. . .well, see above.
The clasp on the dog's leash freezes, and I have to stand in the cold and warm it with my hands so the poor animal can go out. It was so cold today that he walked out, experienced the weather, and changed his mind.
This is the kind of winter when you understand those stories about people who put on long underwear and literally don't take it off until spring. These are winters when you can read Laura Ingalls Wilder and viscerally understand what she went through. Sure, I don't have to trek through blizzards to go milk the cows, but there are people who still do. I'm especially glad for indoor heating and plumbing.
These are the days when the cold makes the sky a blazing blue, and the snow sears the eyes with whiteness. These are days when the world looks flash frozen, eternally blue and white with cold, the trees all bare and lifeless. When the least little errand takes more time and effort than seems possible, and hibernation seems like a decent coping strategy. When it is this cold, it is impossible to believe that warmth will ever come again, that there will ever be a day when you DON'T have to put on three layers of clothing just to go outside, that you will ever be able to turn off the faucets without worrying that the pipes will freeze, that you wonder why you ever thought you would need air conditioning in your house. These are days when Global Warming seems like a Good Idea.
These are days when fleeing south becomes tremendously attractive.