Friday, January 14

I'm Not Complaining

I've been wanting to write a post complaining about the weather, but that seemed a little petty given the disastrous results of bad weather that people have been enduring elsewhere. Extreme cold, at least for people who live in warm houses in town, is really just a big headache.

No homes are lost; usually no people die. For those of us heating with wood, keeping the house warm can be a never-ending job, but the house is standing and we are warm. If the cold spell goes on too long, we may begin to wish ill upon our family members--it seems there is nothing like too much forced togetherness to accentuate someone's annoying traits--but at least they're here with us to annoy us. Even school busses continue to do their rounds and school stays open.

So I'm not going to complain. I am going to tell you that I was elated this morning when I woke up and it was only -41C. Does that make any practical difference when compared to the -46C it was yesterday morning? Not really. There's still ice fog, the cars still need to be plugged in and used as little as possible. The wood fire still needs to be stoked every couple of hours. We're still stuck spending lots of time together indoors. But the trend is upwards, and that counts for something!

Yesterday, I moved the computer from the desk in computer corner--we were finding it just a bit drafty over there--and put it on the dining room table which sits right in front of the fire. I'm sure the Designer Guys would not approve, since there is a mass of jumbled multicolored cords on the table top, and they run off in every direction, but at least I'm warm as I type this.

I got an email this morning from a relative who lives in Minnesota. It's -21 there, so school is closed. I don't remember school closing for cold when I was young. For blizzards, yes--and they get some very nasty ones there--but never for cold. So when did Minnesotans get to be such wimps?

Here's a little known fact for you: Propane starts gelling at -40ish*. I tried to google the exact temperature, but apparently that's such an obscure fact that absolutely no one on the net even mentions it. Every time the temperature goes below -40, however, someone discovers it when their furnace doesn't kick in.

Yep, life is good. The thermometer's gone up to -41, the car still starts, there's wood in the woodpile, the computer's in a warm spot, I don't live in Minnesota where schools are closed, and I don't heat with propane.

There is, however, the possibility that cabin fever is setting in.

[*Update: Thanks to Chris, I now know that propane begins to freeze at -38C.]