Brrrr! It's just plain cold outside.
At this writing, the temperature is a bone-chilling 19 degrees outside the warm comfort zones of my office and home. However, by the time this edition of The Helena World reaches the hands of our loyal readers weather prognosticators say it will be a balmy 54 degrees with a probability of rainfall.
Thank goodness the precipitation did not accompany the record-setting low temperatures.
I guess I should have been prepared for a rough winter when the first serious ice storm occurred on November 24, a few days before Thanksgiving.
Weather of course is something we all complain about but realize there is nothing at all we can do about it. The discomfort caused by it is relative. On a hot 100 plus degree day, we all think about how cozy it would be to be wrapped up in blanket, lying on the couching watching a great football game while the outside temperatures hover near the freezing mark.
On the other hand, when the temps drop to the teens like they did this week, we find ourselves pinning for those 90-degree days sitting in the shade and drinking a nice cold glass of lemonade. More often than not, we forget about those perfectly sunny spring days in the mid-70s or those refreshingly cool fall days hovering in the mid-60s and upper 50s.
My earliest recollection of a really cold night dates back to when I was about six years old. I recall begging Dad to take me to a high school football game. Finally, one Friday night, he took the evening off from his duties at the post office and took me to a “big game.”
Mom dressed me as warmly as she could but it was bitter cold, primarily because of a stout north wind. Before halftime, I had all I could take. I was ready to head back to the house. I could sense that Dad was disgusted but he honored my request.
Some 20 odd years later the scenario would repeat itself with my best friend, Chuck from Harding College. Primarily because the game was scheduled for a Saturday rather than a Sunday afternoon, Chuck and I attended a professional football game in St. Louis between the old St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Redskins, in mid-December. Not a good choice.
For TV purposes, the game did not kickoff until after 3 p.m. At kickoff, the temperature was 17 degrees and by halftime it had dipped to single digits with a wind chill factor in the negative range. The city of St. Louis was just recovering from a blizzard that Saturday back in the late 1970s. No one even bothered to wipe the ice from the seats, which were by now solid blocks of ice. The cheerleaders had literally turned purple.
Page 2 of 2 - Chuck took a few pictures of the game but by halftime, we both agreed that it would be best to retreat and head to the warmth of the car and head back South. To add insult to injury, Chuck lost his roll of film from the game. Perhaps, some things are better off forgotten.
It is always comforting to realize that no matter how hard old Jack Frost nips at your nose and toes, warmer days are just around the corner.
Until then, keep warm thoughts.