If you live in Minnesota, you don’t need me to tell you it’s cold outside. A glance through the window of your safe and warmly heated house or car will tell you that “outside” is the last place you want to be.
My dog won’t even lift his leg for fear that it will stay that way. Yellow icicles, like stalagmites, litter the yard in a garish and bizarre field of danger. The neighbor’s flag has stopped flapping and instead stands fully at attention, frozen in time and place.
This morning, for the first time ever, I accidentally locked myself out of the house when I went out into the garage to get something. I stood there in subzero temperatures wearing nothing but jammies and slippers, wondering just how long it would take me to freeze to death wrapped in the greasy towel my husband used for checking oil and a plastic tarp I spotted in the corner…and then remembered I had an extra key to the back door in the cup holder of my car. Thank you, God!
I didn’t die today, but it really made me think. What if I locked myself out of my house, there was no key in the car to get back in, no neighbors nearby to hear my cries for help, and I had to chew my own arm off to stay alive? Yes, this weather brings out the darkness of my soul.
I’ve seen lots of people putting the temperature as their status on Facebook today, as though it is a badge of honor to live where the sun don’t shine and ice is so thick you need a drill to fish. In Minnesota, you can tell the haves and have-nots apart by whether or not their cars start. Some have garages and some have not. We have a garage, but my daughter’s car has not a space in it.
Luckily, half the work force didn’t have to go to work today because it is Martin Luther King day! Of course, those other people who work for businesses not run by government…sorry, you guys have to take your chances. Just wrap up in your big old parkas, gloves, boots, scarves, and hats, and drive into the frigid unknown with nothing more than a heated leather seat and a prayer. Good luck!