Winter comparisons.

Projected highs for today, in degrees Fahrenheit:

Middletown, Connecticut: 49
Madison, Wisconsin: 40
Albany, New York: 49
Minneapolis, Minnesota: 39
Portland, Maine: 41
Kiev, Ukraine: 14
Berlin, Germany: 10

It’s a good thing I brought my merino wool long underwear!

I know this is a major cold snap here in Europe, but as someone who thinks this is just normal winter weather, it’s a bit hard to believe that 14 degrees in Kiev or 5 degrees in Moscow is newsworthy. But, as a February trip to Mississippi last year taught me, what constitutes severe winter weather is completely dependent on what the average person and municipality is prepared for. When you don’t have snow plows, or piles of sand and salt, or even just a brush and ice scraper in your car to clear off your windshield, then, yes, an inch of snow can be dangerous.

Personally, I’m loving the cold, because I can dress for it; and it means it’s sunny here most of the time. Today they sky is clear and flawless blue. I’ve been in way, way, way worse cold on more than one occasion.

The Moccasin Bar, Hayward, Wisconsin, February 2007.
The Moccasin Bar, Hayward, Wisconsin, February 2007.
Inside the Moccasin Bar.
This is what you do when it's 40 below zero.

3 thoughts on “Winter comparisons.

  1. Ahhh…and I recall those kinds of days and weeks also; but let it be known and remembered and taken deeply into mind and heart that, if you’ve got a drinking problem, do not do it (re the peril of falling asleep in a snowbank or atop the highway on the way home = leads to death): just stay at home and suckle cooking sherry or something equally evil ’cause that’ll save your life…for awhile. But only for awhile.

  2. Another projected high to add to your list…

    San Francisco, CA: 66

    I miss winter. Even though it isn’t really happening in the rest of the US this year either.

  3. Someone I know left sunny Southern California in 1970 to be with a man she loved about sixty minutes south of Montreal. She had one winter coat that her grandmother bought for her to stave off the cold (her grandmother had forgotten the difference between stylishness and real need). The young woman soon owned other clothing than what she brought with her…and soon saw what the young man had not considered: that people who live in true four-season climates require more clothing than those who live in two- or three-season climates of the USA. Folks in the Northeast NEED at least three and perhaps four distinct and complete wardrobes to deal with the many changes of the true four-season climate the NE enjoys. (Did I write “enjoy”?) The young woman liked the cold and snow ~ mostly the “So much!” of it. The winter of the 1970-71 cold months was stunningly beautiful, and in the 1971-72 season the winter brought single blizzards that dropped as much eight feet of snow at a time before its own weight crushed it down: the “No Parking This Side” signs along the street where they lived stood at between five and seven feet along the roadside of the street on which they lived: those signs were obliterated from view on three occasions during that second winter of her new experiences in the NE. There was a time she wanted them — expected! them to move back to CA: he would not go. Today and for many years she would never have moved back: she loves the winters and the cold, the play, the change of clothing that is required, the bundling under down coverlets…the cups of steaming tea…and the post-harvest season of baking, cooking, and tasting the many wonders of the summer and early fall that meet in or on the stove and eventually land on her plate and that, after a most thankful grace, await poised forks, spoons, knives. E.g., Most recently, following holiday experimentations, there has been hot soup and homemade sourdough breads.


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