1.14.2014

How I Survived the Polar Vortex

I know, the Polar Vortex is old news. What can I say? I've only just thawed, I guess. If you didn't live through the Polar Vortex, you need to imagine swimming in ice water at four o'clock in the morning in February, and then knock a few more degrees off.

These are some of the things that got me through the Polar Vortex.

1. My extremely warm coat from Lands End. If I put it on more than a minute before I walk out the door, I break into a sweat.

2. The extremely warm mittens that Erica made for me last year. (I think she made them for herself, actually, but then up and moved to Northern California.) Letting those fingers hang out in the same cozy felted wool space rather than be cold and alone in gloves makes all the difference in the world.

3. The fabulous (yet apparently not foolproof) throw-boiling-water-in-the-air trick. Long after the girls lost interest in the evaporation cloud rising and the ice crystals falling, I boiled cup after cup of water to be tossed off the front stoop. It was better than fireworks. (I did not burn myself, but I did freeze my extremely warm mitten to the screen door handle as there was a tiny bit of water on it that fused the wool to the metal immediately.)

4. Our next door neighbors. Not only did the girls go to their house both mornings so that I could sneak in a few hours of work, but they also came over for homemade bean soup and freshly baked bread the second evening. Since dashing next door was as much as you could do with little ones - and even then they had to be bundled with extra layers - spending time with them was wonderful way to treat the cabin fever.

5. Did I already mention homemade bean soup and freshly baked bread?

6. Knowing that the local homeless shelter and support service center that Ben works for was up and running. The availability and concentration of services has been under fire lately, but last week more than ever, they were offering life-saving resources to vulnerable people.



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