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Cold

Agriculture.com Staff 02/27/2008 @ 2:44pm

When I went to the church board meeting last week, it was about twenty below zero with a bracing breeze coming all the way from Saskatoon. As I went in the door, I interrupted the treasurer's report to say, "I move that we sell the church and use the money to relocate the congregation to Jamaica."

The treasurer said, "I'll go home and pack."

In the end, we decided not to -- we bought the choir new stoles, which I agree seemed like a safer choice, but I'm telling you, I think if I'd pushed the issue, there'd have been a planeload of Methodists headed for Montego Bay.

Cold weather can get on your nerves. I know there are some people who pretend it isn't cold -- they get up, put on a determined face and warm clothes, and just go about their business as though the temperature wasn't three degrees colder than the dark side of the moon.

Those people are crazy. When the weather is this bad, the correct attitude is to wallow in misery, with occasional whining that degenerates into a state of denial.

Last week, I got up in the dark and turned on the TV; the first thing that came across CNN was an announcement about the wind chill temperature 27 miles from where I live.

When your home appears on CNN, it's almost never good news. Maybe if you live in New York or Los Angeles and your part of the country shows up on the morning news you can watch with mild interest, but out here, no news is generally good news. The people with TV cameras and good teeth are only interested in us when things go wrong.

And you can't get much more wrong than twenty-four below zero at 6:00 in the morning, with a -50 wind chill.

Back in the '70s, I went to southeastern Iowa to look at a new style of hog house, one that was designed to not need any supplemental heat. I talked to a salesman and expressed my concern that what worked in southeastern Iowa might not work out in the bowels of the northern plains. He said, "Oh, our weather here is just as bad as yours."

I said, "Shut up, you blithering idiot."

Okay, I didn't say that, but I sure didn't buy any hog equipment from him.

Perhaps you don't live where it gets this cold. I can tell you what it feels like. Get a garbage bag -- it doesn't have to be very big -- one of those 13-gallon kitchen can liners will do. Anyway, fill it with water and put it in the freezer. After it's in the freezer for a couple of days, walk through a door and have someone hit you in the face with it.

That's pretty much how it feels when you go out to start the car when it's -24. And, the car feels pretty much the same way.

Oh, well. It's warmer this week. It's almost March, and March is almost spring, and spring is almost summer.

Do you know what it feels like when it's 109 degrees? Well, let me tell you -- take a frying pan...

Copyright 2008 Brent Olson

When I went to the church board meeting last week, it was about twenty below zero with a bracing breeze coming all the way from Saskatoon. As I went in the door, I interrupted the treasurer's report to say, "I move that we sell the church and use the money to relocate the congregation to Jamaica."

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