It’s been a cold year so far, in more ways than one.
First there’s the obvious. It’s cold here in Baja Canada. Bitterly cold. Ditch-digger weather. Sad brass monkeys all around. We’ve been below 0F at some point of pretty much every day since we got back from Tennessee (and a few before that, apparently). Last night it got down to -13F, which is about -25C so we’re cold in both metric and imperial units. It’s cold.
I realize that my Canadian friends are even as I post this frantically typing out messages that start out with “You think that’s cold? We picnic in that weather!” but you know, I’ll let you guys have that one. And the health care. And the sensible regulations on firearms. And the government that isn’t clinically insane and a threat to the survival of the human species. So yeah, Canada. Good on ya.
Meanwhile here in MURCA! it’s colder than Mars. It snowed in Florida. Texas was at freezing in one corner and well over 100F in another on the same day. And most of the Northeast was bombed by a snowstorm, if I heard that right, one that apparently involved putting large portions of Massachusetts underwater.
Good thing the climate isn’t shifting, because otherwise? I’d be worried.
It’s also been a cold year on the viral front. We all made it back from Tennessee in reasonably good health, but almost as soon as we landed back home everything fell apart. We’ve all had the same maddening cold. It’s not one of those colds that wipes you out and leaves devastation in its wake so you can curl up in a wodge of blankets with only your nose sticking out and whine into your steaming bowl of chicken soup for a few miserable days until it goes away. No, this cold just makes you feel kind of bad – a sore throat, a few aches, a cough that won’t quite go away, some stuffiness. You feel a bit better one day, a bit worse the next day, but never quite laid low and never really good, and it never goes away. It's really nothing you can’t fight your way through the workday with if you have to. Just enough to remind you that once upon a time you felt good but now you don't, sort of the way you feel when you remember that we used to have a government run by law-abiding officials who weren’t actively subverting the social contract.
Not all that long ago, too.
The cold also makes food taste off, the way colds will. This is a particular problem for me right now because I recently received a most generous gift of a bottle of whiskey. It is a fine bottle of whiskey, quite possibly the finest I have ever owned, and I am truly grateful to have it. I am very much looking forward to enjoying it, an experience that having the bitter cold winter outside my door could only enhance.
You know those commercials featuring those Manly 4-Wheel Drive Land Yachts Of Manly Manliness bursting through snowbanks and scattering wildlife? I always feel bad for the people who own those things, storm-busting their way to a productive day at work while the rest of us stay home and sip whiskey while reading a good book in a comfortable chair. To each their own, I suppose.
But there is the maddening cold that we all have, the cold that makes everything taste like something you should have put more time into preserving when you made it last week. I absolutely refuse to open this bottle of whiskey until I can actually taste things right again, and at this rate that might be June.
In the meantime, we cough and wheeze at each other, wrapped in our blankets and waiting for the ability to breathe normally again.
Yeah, it's cold.