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How Does A Southerner Handle the Polar Vortex?

January 15, 2014

I know, I know… you’re tired of the weather and the polar vortex that took over last week. You’re tired of all the news and social media coverage on the weather, you’re tired of reading about my never-ending comments on the weather, you’re tired of experiencing the weather yourself. Feel free to skip this entry, because I’m gonna talk about the weather, again. COME ON, how often do we get to use the phrase POLAR VORTEX in our everyday language? Heck, when was the last time you used the word vortex in a sentence? Unless, you are from Ohio and talking about the roller coaster? I felt like is like straight out of a movie. Wait, didn’t they make a movie like this a few years ago? The Day After Tomorrow with a very cute looking Jake Gyllenhaal? Did they call that a polar vortex? I don’t remember. At the very least, it made me think of the Little House on the Prairie Book- The Long Winter.

Bundled up in my warmest coat, hat gloves and scarf. I was not amused with the cold weather!

Bundled up in my warmest coat, hat gloves and scarf. I was not amused with the cold weather!

So, it started for us down in the South last Monday around lunch time, that is when the wind really started to pick up. You could easily tell that a front was pushing through and it wasn’t going to be pleasant. It got worse through Monday night, you would have thought we were in a tropical storm there was so much wind… just no, you know, oppressive humidity. More like oppressive cold. It got down to 10 degrees on Monday night, it was below 0 with the wind chill. I know that is was not -40 like it was up in Minnesota, but that is pretty damn cold for the South! 1 Then, just as I was taking my hair out of hot rollers, the power went out. Joy. And the temp in the house dropped one degree in just 30 minutes. I was not pleased. As I’ve mentioned before, my converted southern ass has adapted to the warmer weather climate, it has definitely been a shock to experience this! On a side note, hot rollers work as a nice little heating warmer on the head during a cold day!

A sign that we don’t really have that cold of winter weather all that much: the electric company had to start rolling blackouts throughout the day on Tuesday because of the strain on the power grid. No more than 15 minutes at a time in an area, but definitely not normal for us. Schools were on a two hour delay on Tuesday and Wednesday morning so kids wouldn’t have to stand outside waiting for the bus in such frigid temps. Mainly because a lot of students don’t have coats and gloves that warm, because they are not often needed. After some kids made it to school, they were sent home again because the schools lost power! No snow, no ice…. just deep cold. Crazy. All of the pretty outdoor fountains were frozen over on campus, there was black ice in all sorts of spots along my drive to work and the water bottles I left in my car were not only frozen in the morning, but they were still frozen at the end of the day after sitting in the parking garage.

So here is how this converted southerner made it through the polar vortex and deep freeze of ’14:

1. Lots of blankets. Seriously, I had one big fleece blanket and two (TWO) down comforters on my bed. Plus, a heating pad.

2. Layers, as I mentioned in a picture last week. I wore lots of layers. When I was home I had on: fleece lined leggings, sweat pants, camisole, long sleeve shirt, super warm hoodie and thick wool socks.  Yep, all at one time.

3. Chili. I ate chili for dinner on Tuesday and Wednesday. I also had it for lunch on Wednesday. Along with some salad, corn bread, etc. It was hot and fabulous. I also drank a lot of hot tea. I ate no ice cream, cereal… or anything cold.

4. I actually made use of not only my heaviest winter coat (that I’m so thankful I actually have held onto), my warmest scarfs, gloves AND hat. All things I have not worn since I went to Alaska two year ago, got busted out for some January days in the deep South. And while the hat was very warm AND cute, it did leave some serious hat hair!

5. I planned ahead and filled up the gas tank on my car before deep freeze hit… so I didn’t have to stand outside and pump gas, but  I also didn’t have to worry about how long I let my car warmed up in the morning (25 minutes). I let it get nice and toasty in the car and let all the frost melt off before I ran out to jump in.

It was so cold, that my car still had frost on it at the END of the work day!

It was so cold, that my car still had frost on it at the END of the work day!

6. There were power issues and cable issues over that 48-72 hour period, so I read… A LOT. A new Simon Winchester book and a Nora Roberts book. I also baked cookies… which may have just given me a reason to stand near the oven sending out heat.

So, that’s how this converted southerner survived the deep freeze of 2014. How was it in your part of the country?

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