There are times when I find it hard to believe that global warming is coming our way.
The last week of January, and now then plunging temperatures and bitterly-cold winds over the weekend, leads me to believe that if global warming is on its way, so is the next Ice Age.
People may tell me that we experienced weather like this when I was much younger. They even may try to convince me that as a paper carrier more than 40 years ago, I had no problem coping with the harsh temperatures of winter.
I just can’t remember feeling so cold or getting chilled like I do today (Monday).
When I was talking about this around the office, someone asked if I remembered that during the late ’70s, we went more than 30 days before the temperature climbed above zero F.
It brought back a quick memory. I have to admit that I did remember that month.
It was the first year the annual Emo bonspiel took place on natural ice that avoided the January thaw. The curlers complained of how slow the ice was, and the great amount of energy that was required to get the rocks from one end of the sheet to the other.
As I thought about the cold weather, I could remember some snowmobile trips in January across Rainy Lake to Clearwater and Off Lake that took place in bitter weather.
One of the most memorable was a return trip back to Frog Creek from Northwest Bay. We had stopped to warm up and discovered our bottle of rum had turned to slush.
Five of us were going to warm up, but we tipped the bottle only to find ice crystals floating around. We realized then how cold it was that day.
We probably were dressed for the day, with well-insulated boots, snowmobile suits, toques, and mitts, and we could hide behind our windshields.
But upon getting back to the landing in darkness, I think we all enjoyed hopping into our vehicles that we had warming while we loaded the snowmachines onto trailers.
There is something magical at night with the cold white lights staring down from the sky, and the snow crunching and squeaking under your boots as the air rushes down your wind pipe and expands as it warms itself.
At the end of a brisk walk, your complexion is rosy and you feel a certain pride for exercising in such harsh conditions. And perhaps you only then really appreciate coming back into a warm home and collapsing into a soft lounging chair.
Perhaps if I wore those long johns and those lined corduroy pants with my felt boots that I wore as a 12-year-old newspaper carrier, that nighttime walk wouldn’t be so chilling.
On the bright side, daylight is lasting longer every day—and there are only 38 days to go to reach spring.
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