Monday, January 06, 2014
Morning Thanks--what's inside
In Green Bay yesterday, people claimed it was so cold that tailgaters grilled their beer. No matter--my guess is that once that field goal got up and off the field, the temperature went even further south (a line that doesn't work right now).
That Johnny Carson hailed from Siouxland explains how it was that, out there in Burbank, he got so stinking much mileage out of the old "how cold is it?" joke. All he had to do is mention temperature, and the crowd broke into the chant, which, of course, allowed him to air some of his writers' latest entries, like "So cold lawyers shoved their hands in their own pockets," or "so cold a woman used jumper cables to jump start her husband," or (you can buy this on a hoodie) "so cold I farted snow."
"Honestly, it was so cold that when we chatted, we had to thaw out the steam to know what we were saying." ". . . so cold that as we speak our dog is stuck to the fire hydrant."
I'm kidding. We have no dog.
But it's cold.
Both my son and my son-in-law worked at Pella Windows once upon a time years ago, so conceivably they know how on earth these windows are constructed with enough sheer will power to withstand the siege of arctic air washing down from some place up north I'd rather not imagine. It's really incredible. The north side of our house is almost entire Pella Windows, but here I sit, in the basement (the floor is heated) as if I were in Bermuda.
Still, it's amazing that all that separates me from -17 degrees just five feet away is glass. Amazing.
Got a note yesterday from South Dakota friends who asked us to pray for cattle. I'd never done that before--pray for cattle; but I did. Where pastures sprawl, they can and do wander out away from shelter, and when they do it's dangerous.
It was something I had to discover about Siouxland--the cold can be a killer. It's cold in my home state of Wisconsin now too, famously so, in fact; but it seems more frequent that people can and do die here when they miss a curve or hit the ditch and aren't found. There's a murderer just outside my Pella Windows--Johnny Carson or no Johnny Carson.
It's unlikely that we'll experience this kind of cold again this year, so my morning thanks are almost a given because within the walls of this brand new house I'm more than comfy, despite the fact that all there is beside me is windows.
The furnace is humming, the hot water flowing through the tubes beneath the cement under my feet. In an hour or so, I'll turn on the fireplace.
We're warm. Only on nights like this do you remember that shelter, like food and water and fuel, is an element of life we simply can't live without. It's -17 out there. Feels like -41, weather.com says, if just outside my window, you can feel anything at all. We're warm, and I'm thankful.