i know it comes as no surprise to you that we watch the national geographic show ‘life below zero’. we’ve talked about it before and have even quoted snippets of wisdom from some of the show’s regulars.
in the next day or so it will drop to a “feels like” temperature of -52. that’s negative fifty-two. the “actual” temperatures won’t even reach the single digit negative numbers. now, that’s cold! and yet, each time the temperature is posted on the screen when we watch ‘life below zero’ it is usually some negative number (which doesn’t include the wind chill.) then, whichever arctic resident they are following will proceed to go miles to hunt or gather or fish, walking or driving snow machines in bitter winds, dragging behind them sleds upon which they will place their findings. i think we watch it because it is so far from our own lives. we love the vistas and can’t really imagine the life.
the whole town was closed today; the school system, the colleges, the city offices. and we haven’t even gotten to the life-below-zero temperatures yet. at lunchtime we took a walk and the snow was amazing. it was quiet and the lakefront was full of ice. our sedum plants looked like the lemonade ice pops i used to make The Girl and The Boy with the tupperware do-it-yourself-ice-pop-set i’m saving for the possibility of grandchildren. the snow is everywhere; there are enormous baby-sled piles on the sides of the roads. icicles abound. it’s beautiful. it’s a vision of real old-fashioned winter, a calendar entry on one of those the-year-in-wisconsin calendars, postcard images of this time of hibernation.
and so, in deference to the scope of mother nature’s ability to stop us in our tracks, we plan to limit our outdoor exposure the next few days. we look outside at all the snow that has already fallen and, expecting more, make sure we have enough basics in the fridge and the cupboards to last, in case we can’t get out. our little scion rocks, but unplowed roads and extreme cold are not necessarily its gig.
maybe we’ll take a little time and watch some more ‘life below zero’. by sheer comparison, we’ll realize how easy we have it. oh! and hey, maybe we’ll make some ice pops. or not.