When I step out of the car, the wind takes my breath away. I fumble with my hood, but the closure is too tight, so I yank my right mitten off with my teeth and unzip my coat a bit. Holy Freaking gawd, it’s cold. I can’t get the hood up with one hand, so get back into the car. A blast of snowy wind rocks the car as, with two hands finally free, I manage to pull my hood up and re-zip my coat. Leaving my things behind for a minute, I step out of the car again and immediately turn my back to the wind. I take two side-steps to the back door, get the extension cord out and move quickly to plug the car in. This part isn’t too bad as my back is to the wind and I’ve left the engine running so the headlights shine onto the electrical outlet mounted on the post that I’ve parked in front of. At least I can see what I’m doing.
The college parking lot is full this morning – it always is when the temperature drops into “cold spell” ranges – and I have had to park at the very back of the lot. I suppose that’s good…extra steps and all that, but this morning I could do without them. Finally, clutching my insulated coffee cup to my chest with one hand and gripping my purse with the other, I begin the trek to the building.
The world is a cozy muffled place inside my hood. The snow strikes the fabric over my right ear with a deceptively soft patter that reminds me a bit of rain on an umbrella, but by the time I get to the building, my shins are stinging and burning with cold. It’s an odd sensation to have a warm torso and warm feet but be nearly frostbitten in a single area the width of my hand, just below the knees. I need a much longer coat. Or maybe after 27 years in the Yukon I should buy some snow pants.
I am taking my coat off when my coworker comes stomping in, face red with cold and hair disheveled. “Bloody god-forsaken country,” she mumbles not so quietly. We laugh. And really, it’s only -28o c. Hardly cold at all.
Linking up today with the free-writing exercise over at the Extraordinary Ordinary .