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December 6, 2009 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Hey! It’s Another Cold December!

It dawned on me that we spend 1/12 of your life “experiencing” Christmas.  Experiencing = actively or passively participating.  I arrived at this very scientific fact based on the assumption that the average American puts up the ol’ tree just after Thanksgiving, and takes it down around the New Year.  I could skew the facts higher by basing my numbers on when the holiday crap goes on sale at the big box stores, but I figured that wasn’t fair.  After all, I have seen Christmas trees up next to the Halloween costumes. 

In summary, if we agree that you spend one month a year devoted to Christmas, then if you live to be eighty, you have spent over six and a half years with a tree in your living room.  That’s longer than most folks spend in college or the military.  It’s a lot longer than many marriages last.  And it’s nearly fifty in dog years.  FIFTY!

***

It’s cold here in Montana.  Colder than the inside of your freezer.  We are looking at -20 easy tonight, and possibly -45 below tomorrow night here in the Gallatin valley.  Down the road where I grew up, they may see -50.   I love it here.  No, really I do.  The cold unites us all and gives us something to talk about.  We talk about our boots and socks…to wool, or not to wool?  We compare pipe-bursting war stories.  We get to share tips and tricks for starting your car in this sort of weather.  My mom insists on putting a heavy blanket on the hood of her car.  She received this tip from a snowplow driver, so it must be true. 

She also plugs her car in every evening in the winter.  I realize there will be people who read this and think “oh, you have electric cars in Montana?” because I have been asked this a million times.  You can buy a “block heater” that sits near your engine, and you essentially plug the block heater in and it keeps your engine warm enough to start in extreme cold.  These used to be mandatory here in Montana but cars have gotten a lot better so lots of folks don’t have them anymore.  I don’t have one.  However, I am on “E” and should have filled up my gas tank the other day when it would have been tolerable.  I really don’t feel like pumping gas when it’s 45 below.  Not to mention my car may not get to the gas station. 

I could have a winter home in California or something.  Arizona?  But the summers here somehow make it all worth it. 

***

The GAP commercials with the insane dancing and contorting and chanting about holidays are really irritating me.  Can you imagine wearing that sweater and pulling off those moves?  Wouldn’t you be all crazy-sweaty?  Are your nutso high kicks and leaps over your sweater-clad partner supposed to make those look appealing?  All I can think about is needing to buy clinical-strength deodorant.  Also, I have a friend that recently took part in the “Buy One Get One Free” sweater campaign at GAP and she said that the sweater “pills.”  So there. Don’t get one.

***

I can’t believe it’s December.  December of 2009, no less.  2010 is nearly here and we are not even close to landing on Jupiter.  Speaking of Jupiter, my son is obsessed with drawing pictures of it because of the “red spot.”  I believe I had this same planetary obsession as a child.  I believe I used to think the red spot was a big ass resort of some kind and the red spot was a magnificent raspberry pool; but AJ knows it’s a storm.  Kids are so smart these days.

***

I miss my cat Renegade.

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9 Comments

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  1. Pammy Girl / Dec 15 2009 6:58 am

    So I was talking to a friend of mine who was in town from Denver. She was thrilled to be in “warm” DC where we were experiencing a balmy 42. Apparently in Denver it was -8 but, according to the local weather guy, felt like -20. So here’s my question: once it gets that cold, can you really tell the difference between -8 and -20 or even -50? You are a brave woman because I think I would just cry from November to April if I lived in Montana.

  2. nat @ book, line, and sinker / Dec 12 2009 7:56 am

    okay, after reading this post i’m going to stop moaning about 10 degree temps here in vermont–we’re away for the weekend!

    i LOVED mt when we visited in the summer but didn’t realize that the winters could be so dastardly. i need more temperate climates…

    happy holidays from your long lost blogging buddy,

    curly wurly gurly

  3. morethananelectrician / Dec 8 2009 3:50 pm

    I stuck my head in the freezer for five minutes…I didn’t like it and my ears hurt.

    But I did find some Popsicles!!!!

  4. Christine / Dec 7 2009 9:28 pm

    I watched a Gap commercial tonight. There were young girls dressed in pretty much the same outfits as above, dancing and singing…

    Maleesha…THEY’RE BREEDING…

  5. Rambleicious / Dec 7 2009 7:29 pm

    I am suddenly OK with my decision to pull the plug on cable TV at my house. I DO NOT miss Gap commercials.

    Perky little dorks.

  6. cherikooka / Dec 7 2009 3:31 pm

    When I lived in Anchorage in 89, we plugged our cars in too. It was the first time I had ever seen block heaters.

    I miss Renegade too.

  7. shmode / Dec 7 2009 10:14 am

    I swear, this Alberta girl didn’t purposely send this nastiness to you. Our temps right now are a balmy -29°C with a -38° windchill (that’s -20°/-36° F). Blockheaters are required in Canada for good reason.

    Stay warm!

  8. Taoist Biker / Dec 7 2009 8:14 am

    I remember driving to Minnesota for the first time when I lived in the midwest and seeing the gates on the interstate on and off ramps for the first time and realizing what they were for.

    The first day my car door was frozen shut was the first day I’d ever seen with subzero temperatures for a daily high.

    Believe it or not, the cold is inconvenient but it never bothered me so much. It was all the snow and ice and deciding not to risk wadding up the car to go out to a movie which gave way to acute cabin fever.

    Then we moved back South and I’m happier. Still get the occasional snow, but not usually a huge deal. (Well, except for losing power for a week in January for that freak ice storm, but you know how it is…)

  9. Mike / Dec 7 2009 6:06 am

    The only time I was really, really late to work when I was in the Navy was one time when I forgot to plug in the engine heater. I was stationed in Idaho at the Naval Reactor Facility. We had hit a cold snap like what you are describing and no one in my car pool could get their car started. I was the only with a vehicle that had an engine block heater, so, even though it wasn’t my turn to drive, mine was the only one that could be started that morning. The site where we worked, way out in the Idaho desert, had parking spots with plugs, which I made sure to use that day.

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