becoming a coloradan: the scary parts

December 10, 2009

We have just broken out of (hopefully for good, but at least for now) a string of below-zero-and-single-digit days. With snow. Lots of snow. Not Colorado lots, but the annoying lots that just comes in little spurts every day. Then it doesn’t go anywhere, because thirty five degrees is beginning to feel like a distant memory from childhood, or maybe like a dream you had about the beach once.

Today it felt much warmer. In fact, I enjoyed biking around in only a wool sweater and a windbreaker. Well, and expedition-style mittens (seriously, I think these suckers were designed for Antarctica), but definitely only 2 thin layers of jacket over my t-shirt and jeans. And no long underwear, for the first time in days! Hooray!

I was just remarking to myself on my ride to the coffee shop after class this afternoon just how very nice it was outside today, and what a joy it was to be able to bike around without swaddling every inch of my skin in five layers of wool, fleece, and down.  How beautiful!  How warm!  I mean, still winter, but damn!  Aside from the mittens, I was wearing my standard fall biking ensemble!

And then, I biked past the flashing temperature display at NIST.  You know it’s correct, because they’re in charge of these sorts of things, right?  I mean, when they’re not teleporting atoms and building quantum computers and such.  No really, my friends work there.  Follow the link, it’s really cool.  Anyways…the temperature display.

It said fourteen degrees.

I thought it was a lovely day and was perfectly warm in a sweater and windbreaker at fourteen degrees Fahrenheit.

Oh, Colorado, what have you done to me? I was born in Georgia, raised in North Carolina, and now I think fourteen degrees Fahrenheit is a nice afternoon.

I will have to eat extra biscuits and collards this weekend to soothe the horrified southerner inside of me.

PS. For bonus irony, the folks upstairs finally turned the house’s heat on…and then set a chicken on fire in their oven.  It is nice and toasty in the basement now, and very smoky.

PPS. Yes, the heat just came on today, despite the whole below-zero thing.  They use a woodstove upstairs, and down here in the basement, it stays a pretty constant temperature.  A pretty constant cold one, these past weeks, but nothing dangerous.  I have sweaters.  Lots and lots of sweaters.  Oh, and a space heater.

PPS.  I almost tagged this post “Colorado: it’s not a city, it’s a motherfuckin’ state,” which is a Paper Bird lyric (at least, it’s the lyric they sing when they perform “Colorado” live).  But, I was struck by a strange desire to be slightly less vulgar today.  Slightly.  “Colorful Colorado” is some kind of state slogan.  I see it on signs, and I have it on an awesome, badass-as-all-hell t-shirt that I will tell you all about on some other day.



  1. I read your blog. Love me.

  2. All for you.

  3. Living in the Gobi and then Flagstaff has definitely changed what I consider cold. I definitely consider 14 and not windy a pleasant winter afternoon.

  4. It is a pleasant winter afternoon! I just never foresaw the day where I would agree with such a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: