It’s funny the things you think about when you’re young — things that don’t even catch your eye as you get older. Until one day they do, and you remember how enamored you were with that one thing so many years ago.
I was driving home tonight, and despite the polar vortex, the sky was very clear. It was so blue. I could see a small, solitary light in the sky. From the distance, it was hard to tell if it was moving at all, so it might have been a star, or a plane — or an interstellar donut shop (which would definitely have a logo with a bright pink glazed donut, complete with sprinkles). Under the lights of the city, it’s hard to see much in the sky at all. But where I grew up, there were stars for miles. All you could see were stars. There were no lights to drown them out.
So in the days of yore, when I would see a plane flying overhead, I would always wonder what it could be — and wonder if it really was a plane, or a UFO carrying aliens from Mars, or maybe it was a shooting star (because those were always on TV and I never saw one to know how fast it would shoot)… And until today I kind of forgot those were the things I would think about…
Now other things occupy our minds, like weekend plans, work, our families, the latest episode of Downton Abbey. Are any of those as important as the interstellar baked goods? Probably, but maybe not — maybe for a minute we need that small moment of wonder, especially in the bleak, banal moments of the January commute.
This is what it looked like near my house today for the rest of you outside the Vortex:
Pretty beautiful, and pretty frigid — I had negative digits on my car thermometer for the first time ever.
My pipes actually froze under my house, so I was under it with a hair dryer thawing them out (kudos to Vidal Sassoon), which resulted in a valve burst and subsequent replacement. Adventures in homeownership!
I was pretty dirty, but it was surprisingly warm under the house. Not something I want to repeat anytime soon, though!
So I’m ready for the summer thaw– the polar bears can keep their Vortex.
How cold was it where you were today? Any harrowing moments of near frostbite?