You will notice that that subtitle of my blog (see above) is "Random Thoughts on Living Well Where I Don't Belong." Well, here in Minnesota, we are just finishing our 3rd straight day of daytime temps not even managing to get above zero (F), and believe me if there is a place on this planet where NOBODY belongs, it is here. So this post will be a detour—some random observations on living life below zero.
1. Since I come from China, the land where people begin wearing long underwear in October, and by January are wearing 4-5 layers under their clothing, I find myself wondering if anyone I see (in stores, restaurants, banks, church, etc.) is wearing long underwear. When in a social setting I have to work hard not to either ask the people around me how many layers they have on, or even more importantly I must stifle the urge to reach over and grab their legs to start counting myself. This, you see, is a fairly common occurrence in China. I must admit, also, that there is less need here (even though it is colder than cold) because one is only outside long enough to get from the house to the car to the store to the car and back to the house.
2. Black ice will get you every time. This is an invisible layer of ice that develops on the roadways. Ironically it seems to attack SUV truck drivers the most, since they foolishly think that because they have 4WD they are immune. No one is immune. You hit a patch and you are going into the ditch. No questions asked.
3. My mom has an aversion to gloves. Every time we go somewhere she is always clutching (NOT wearing) a pair in her hands. There's nothing I can do to get her to actually put them on! Go figure!
4. Cars are unbelievably dirty. Sand and salt get dumped on the road by the ton, and end up coating the cars, leaving what some around here call "snow booger" hanging from the cars. What's funny is that many people cope with cold by becoming obsessed with them, and can be seen wandering around parking lots kicking at every snow booger they see. It's not a pretty sight.
5. I learned the hard way that it's probably not smart to go through the car wash as the temperatures are plunging then let the car sit idle for 24 hours. Jumper cables anyone?
6. If someone says it's too cold to snow, smack them. It was ZERO the other day and we got an inch.
7. The snow is gorgeous. Personally I can't get enough of it. My friends who have to spend the rest of the winter here snarl at me when I say that.
Well, it is winter. And this is Minnesota, where we are actually quite good at living life below zero.