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way cool

brains requiredAs usual, I looked at the outdoor thermometer this morning.

4

Wow. 4.

That is pretty cold.
Huh. what’s that little mark in the corner there?
A minus sign.
OH. Really cold.

That made me reflect on yesterday evening as I drove home through ‘The City’ (Hamilton, Montana, population 4,350). Electronic signs proclaim 4 or 5 degrees (+) at 5:00 PM.

I’m wearing tights under my jeans, long-sleeve tee under my sweater with a heavy jacket, wool driving cap and lined driving gloves. The car heater is on full (but the tiny Honda CRX engine generates precious little heat – the ice on the inside of the back window never did defrost even after a couple hours of running errands). Nevertheless, I spend no extra time exposed to the weather. Walking between car and buildings makes me NOTICE the feeling of cold on my legs and very definitely feel a briskness, crispness on my face.

As I approached the grocery store I notice the attire of people coming out… The most popular accommodation for the cooler temperatures of this week seems to be a thin hoodie sweatshirt with the hood hanging down loose on their backs.

Stopped at a red traffic signal, crossing in front of me is a girl about 12 years old, adolescent thin, with light cotton tight pants that end just below her knees and a lightweight cotton knit longsleeve slip-on shirt. She walks across the road and heads uptown as if on a summer stroll… casual, no sign that this is anything other than balmy.

Goodness … do these people have jackets? What’s it take to get them out of the closet?

Ugh. Don’t ask if you don’t want the answer. I hate even writing the question for fear of tempting fate.

Happily, we have two ways of heating the house – one fully electric, one without. Both seem up to the task by themselves. And we do have more clothes … lots of them … quite thick and warm. That seems a much safer bet than imagining we will suddenly find our bodies adapted to it.