Minnesota in the winter can get cold. Cold weather can induce a variety of creaks, pops, groans, and other unusual noises that will rouse me from a deep slumber. Those are usually from my knees, shoulders, back, and neck. The house will also have some peculiar noises from the uneven contraction of building materials. With the wind shifting to predominately northwest, the airport is using their alternate runways, which occasionally cause an international flight or cargo flight more laden with fuel than other planes (called “heavies” by air traffic controllers) to fly lower over Interstate 35W a mile east of me. Cold air is denser so the planes have more resistance to overcome. That density also causes the sound to carry farther and amplify.
Today was the first day in just shy of four years where a midnight to midnight maximum temperature did not exceed 0°F (-18°C for my metric friends) at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where the official National Weather Service acquires its readings. There were several days during that span where the temperature was one or two degrees above zero at midnight, but slipped below zero by the 1:00 am reading. For those who heard it is the coldest weather in the past four years, the talking head on TV is wrong unless it drops down colder than -33°F tonight. The forecast low is -12°F.
The wind was steady today with some surprising gusts. Cold weather is lethal. One increases survival chances by preparing. Utility workers are often times called out to do an emergency repair in weather most foul or frigid. When I went out today, I knew the battery in my car is good, I keep the car well maintained, the heater works, and the OnStar, heated seats, and remote starter are nice. I also dressed in layers in case I needed to wait in the car if something unexpected happened, like a flat tire, or getting run off the road by a drunk driver.
I had not planned to venture out today. The original plan was to help a friend with iPhone ringtones sync issues, but I completed that yesterday, and everyone had a great meal and a lot of fun (thanks, Patty!). Today I spent time with my cousin Julie. Her work schedule is crazy so we don’t get much time together anymore. I had two days in a row where I could laugh a lot and enjoy good meals. I am so happy my schedule was flexible enough for me to enjoy those opportunities.
Tomorrow could get interesting. I have Midwest Electric coming over to replace my breaker panel and do a couple other wiring jobs. That means no electricity and no furnace for at least four hours. It could get a bit nippy during that time. I’m not worried about the pipes freezing because the house temperature will not get that low. I think the cold will motivate the poor person doing the outdoor wiring and attic wiring to work quickly. These are tasks Lucy and I wanted to accomplish. Now I have the time.
Today was also National Hug Day. I hope all of you participated at some point. Give your loved ones a meaningful hug tonight, cuddle if you have someone, and thank you for your time!