Jan 312019

We are on the south end of the Polar Vortex, and our lowest temperature yesterday was just above zero, with the “real feel” wind chill temperature around minus sixteen. To ice that cake, we got a few inches of snow early Wednesday morning.

My husband works as a research librarian at a small liberal arts university, which closed yesterday because of the extreme cold. The last time the campus closed, I’m fairly certain, was for the 1937 Flood of the Ohio River. The general modus operandi is to cancel classes and expect everyone else to report. (On a snow day, you could throw a rock from one end of the library to the other and not hit a student. During your college years if you learned of a snow day, was your first thought, “Great! I can go to the library!”)

Kids with Dad, 1963.

On a normal day, the happiest time of my day is when my husband comes home from work at 6 p.m. The second happiest time of day is when he leaves for his part-time gig at noon. I love him, I love drinking coffee with him in the morning, but then I want him to leave.

We both like our alone time, like boxers to their corner, in the afternoons. He went to the basement where his antiques business is based, and I move to my office to read, write, talk on the phone, and watch the birds on our deck.

I also caught up with family and friends in Chicago and Rockford, Illinois, our son on the East Coast, and a cousin in Virginia. I enjoyed reading tales on social media of dog owners taking their furry friends outside. In the morning I noted great enthusiasm, friends covered from stem to stern in warm clothing. By afternoon, most were opening the door and tossing the dog out for his potty. My doggie great-nephew Kai didn’t want to set his paws down in front of his Lincoln Park home, so my nephew carried the above 70-lb. Golden. (One reason why I am a cat person.)

We had no mail delivery but UPS drove up to our door with two large packages about 4 p.m. One contained a cooler with our Super Bowl pizzas for Super Bowl Sunday. (We never eat pizza, except for Super Bowl Sunday, and you might as well go big or stay home.) Two frozen Lou Malnati deep dish pizzas came in a cooler, on dry ice. Our family loves Chicago-style deep dish pizza, or what my son’s East Coast friends call “casseroles.” (Not sure what to call that greasy cracker they eat in NYC.)

I opened the cooler and took out the two pizzas and put them in our freezer. Then, I pulled out the dry ice bag under the pizza. It was open and I accidentally touched the dry ice with my wedding ring finger, which immediately began to tingle and turn blue. My husband advised me to put it under hot water, and while it still tingles a little, all is fine. I cannot imagine having to go to the ER, where dozens of people have real frostbite emergencies, and asked for treatment. This could have been possibly the dumbest way in history to contract frostbite, if it had been worse.

Today all is back to a normal January day, with a heat wave of 27 degrees above zero expected.

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