Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cold (Again) in the Carolinas

When I turned on the radio yesterday I caught the DJ talking about how cold it was going to be the next day. Supposedly the high was only going to be in the upper 40s! Gasp! We were told to get out our coats and scarves. Horrified, I flipped to another channel where, yet again, another radio personality was practically hyperventilating over the weather forecast. I checked the weather as soon as I got home. Sure enough, it would only be 45 when Ella's class was going to be out on the playground. It was finally time to crank the heat and exchange our sweatshirt jackets for parkas. I was going to have to sit the children down tonight and remind them of the dangers of chapped lips and rosey cheeks. When I told Ella she was going to have to wear jeans to school tomorrow instead of the sundress she had layed out, real tears welled up in her eyes. "But I was going to put this shirt under it" she pleaded, holding up a longsleeve white t-shirt. "And I'll wear tights, I promise!" The only thing that finally quelled the tears was the brand new silver coat with a fur lined hood that I pulled out of the closet.

On my way to the car to pick up Ella this afternoon, I thought I saw something white float by. It couldn't be, I thought. Surely, it's not cold enough! But when I raised my eyes to the heavens, I saw that it was true. It was snowing (if about twenty microscopic flakes swirling around in the sky constitutes snowing). The car told me it was 46 outside, and yet it was snowing (kind of). At pick-up I saw a mom being pulled aside and reprimanded by one of the teachers. "It was really cold out on the playground today--there were even snow fluries! (Really? Twenty flakes constitute a "flurry"?) UnnamedBoyFromElla'sClass was freezing in the coat you sent. He didn't even have a hat and mittens! You're going to have to start sending him in something warmer."

Today's bizarre weather and everyone's reaction to it reminded me of last year's "cold snap" and the story that came from it, Cold in the Carolinas. Here we go again...

From last year, Cold in the Carolinas:

The autumn we moved to North Carolina we saw kids walking around on campus wearing scarves and gloves when it was 60 degrees outside. Steve and I both had on short sleeved shirts and made fun of them endlessly. Four and a half years later we are the people we used to make fun of.

"It's supposed to get ridiculously cold this week," a friend told me last week as she stood in the 70 degree warmth of our morning play date. "The temperature is going to get really low tonight," she warned.

When I woke up the next morning under a mound of blankets that I had piled on myself sometime in the night, I realized she was right--it actually had gotten cold in the Carolinas.

I pulled on my parka and went down stairs to see just how cold it was. The thermostat told me it was 68 degrees in our house. Oh, that won't do, I told myself as I cranked the temperature up to 80.

The weather channel website told me the high was 63 degrees. 63! I wasn't prepared for this. We were going to need coats! Hats! Mittens! I didn't know where any of Ella's scarves were and wondered whether I had time to knit her one before school.

That morning my children ate their breakfast dressed in fleece coats and pants. The baby was even wearing fur lined boots.

I burned through at least $30 worth of gasoline allowing my car to warm up enough for us to get in so we could bring Ella to school.

Addison, who is still too young to comprehend the chill that accompanies sub-50 degree weather, tugged angrily at her boots the whole way to school. She cried until she finally got them (and her socks) off... then felt the frigid air upon her bare feet and cried more. I realized I was going to have to explain the cold to her and discuss the dangers of frost bite or, at the very least, chapped lips.

My car told me it had reached 45 degrees when I dropped Ella off for school at 9:00. While I was waiting in car line I saw a little girl walking into school wearing a skirt and flip flops. A chill went up my spine and I double checked to make sure Ella's mittens were in her book bag. Her family must be new to the area. "Mommy, I don't want to take my coat off today when I get into school," Ella told me. I assured her she wouldn't have to.

It's not going to get back up in the 70s again until Tuesday. I hope we don't have to burn our house down to stay warm until then.

Just Barely getting used to long sleeves again,


  1. I am confirming the flurries!! There were WAY more than 20 flakes...it was practically a blizzard ;-)

  2. Amy,

    I assume Jeanne and Steve let you know we are having a baby. So we are counting down the days until Dec. 4. A boy named Spencer will join our family on or around that day.--Jonathan

  3. It was really coming down here at GSK the other day--I was so fired up about the snow, I went outside and made gravel angels in the parking lot.