When they said it was going to get cold last week, I rolled my eyes.
These are the same people who sent us into panic at the mention of a blizzard last November. “The Perfect Storm,” warned the headlines. Grocery stores were gutted, the streets were vacant, everyone retreated home to huddle close and say our last goodbyes (just in case). Then the wind blew a little and the snow started and stopped. In the morning — that wasn’t even supposed to come — we had a light icing of snow on our yellowish, prickly grass.
That’s when I said, “Enough. From now on, I will believe it when I see it.”
So last week when there was talk of a serial cold front approaching — arctic air with a reduced cloud cover making the valley vulnerable to freezing temperatures — I kept my sanity. In fact, I forgot all about it until Tuesday morning when I went to retrieve the garbage can from the curb — with my bare feet.
“This really is cold,” I thought as I opened the door leading outside. By the time I was halfway to the curb, my feet were semi-numb and it felt like I was walking on live wires. I retrieved the big, black garbage can and led it like it was a cow back up to the house. The chill had paralyzed my whole body and I shook my hands in the air to revive feeling. I ran back inside like I was being chased by a quick villain.
“It really is cold out there,” I noted to my husband as I ran upstairs to get back in bed and thaw under a barrage of blankets.
It was then I made peace with the weather people. I decided it would never hurt to prepare for the worse or the best. And I was awfully sorry I didn’t think a quick dash down my driveway could ever be so treacherous to my health.
So it was last week that we stayed in while the temperatures dropped. We watched movies, had dance-offs, read books and had pity for the cold passersby out the front window. I caught up on the library of shows on my DVR (Oprah in Australia!) and we baked peanut butter cookies and water colored rockets and airplanes.
There was no venturing out until we ran out of milk and bread, and that assignment was given to Dad. We waved goodbye to him and wished him luck as he bravely headed out to the grocery store.
It was really cold.
For those few freezing nights, we checked on our children periodically to make sure the wind was staying out of the window cracks in their bedrooms. We inspected the temperature of their little bodies inside of fleece footsie jammies and added one more blanket to the occasion.
We called on family and friends in their respective homes, making sure they were staying warm. We saw headlines, read our Twitter feeds and watched the news; everyone around town, it seemed, was feeling the shock and awe of the forewarned cold front.
It almost made up for the alleged blizzard of 2010.
C. Jane Kendrick writes for blog.cjanerun.com and cjaneprovo.com. She lives in Provo with her husband and two children.