Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wednesday: It's Cold Outside!
Or, Why Minnesotans Talk About the Weather

It was -20 Fahrenheit at 8 this morning: cold even by Minnesota standards. Wind chill was -37 in the Twin Cities, -40 in Fargo, so it must have been around -38 or -39 around here.

That's frost, along the bottom of the window.

Sauk Centre schools started 2 hours late, at 10. They could have kept the places closed all day, as far as I'm concerned: but then, I'm not managing a school budget where you don't get state money if you don't have the school open. And, even with that two hour delay, today counted as a 'full' school day.

My wife and #3 daughter quite sensibly stayed inside all day today. Our son had school to attend. He and I went out together after school, to pick up groceries. Over half of the items on the list my wife wrote out were marked "ask our son." It's not that she doesn't think I'm capable: but our son knows more about what brands we get than I do.

The next stop for us was Wal-Mart. I picked up a prescription, and our son got a couple of long-sought-after Bionicles. He had the things put together by supper time.

I read Garfield to our son, as usual, toward the end of the evening.

#1 daughter was here for a few hours this morning and afternoon. She left for Alexandria about the time our son and I went our the door. She quite sensibly didn't want to be out in this weather after sunset.

She spent quite a lot of her time in the attic, sorting through books. Last year, while I was relatively immobilized, my wife started a (long-overdue) project of re-organizing the book collection up there, and elsewhere in the house.

There's been some progress made. These piles are more-or-less organized by subject. There's more, some in the new order, some piled elsewhere. This could take a while.

I've heard that Minnesotans talk about the weather more than many people do. I'm not surprised. The summers here aren't so much of a problem, apart from the occasional drought, flood, lightning storm or tornado. The winters, on the other hand, can be dangerous. An active interest in the weather, it seems to me, increases a person's chances of survival.

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