Just came in from walking Ella, the Greythound and, may I just say, it is **************************** COLD out there!
I grew up in Southern California and anything below 70 degrees simply didn’t register with me. I remember I was going to visit my cousin, who was living in Massachusetts at the time, and she recommended I wear very warm clothes, mentioning it was about 11 degrees. I clearly recall asking her what that meant? and she responded, “Trust me on the clothes. You will understand the meaning before you go back home.” She was right, of course. I felt like a waddling bear, but a grateful waddling bear.
It snowed last night and I simply could not stay awake for it. It was due to arrive around 3:00 a.m. and I crashed into bed at 2:00 with Ella and Elby all cuddled up in the down comforter with me. Much of it had melted by the time Ella had eaten breakfast, taken her morning customary nap and signaled it was time. Getting ready to venture out takes more time than you’d think. I have to determine whether it is necessary to change out of my flannel pajamas – no. Wrap a fabulous two tone blue fluffy scarf twice around my neck, throw on my parka, slip my feet into clogs and now it is Ella’s turn. She has a fleece lined coat that has an opening for her head and neck, with the longest belt ever that wraps around her belly and secures with velcro. Then her special greyhound leash goes on over her head, I make sure I have bags to collect poop, and out we go.
The sound greeted us first and Ella stopped in her tracks, lifting her head to look, listen and sniff. It was a strong wind blowing through the 4 story tall evergreen trees here on the property. All the other trees are stick figures naked of leaves. We went for our walk, Ella delicately picking her way through, my quietly pouncing on rib bones some idiot left out for curious dogs – I have to do it quietly, otherwise it will become a tug of wills between Ella and I. The walk seemed to last forever and I regretted the pajamas the instant I stepped out. Not a neighbor to be seen, everybody indoors with a fire burning.
Ella leaves plenty of pee-mails, her version of emails, reads others left for her, and finally sniffs enough to determine it’s okay to poop. She knows me and I will instantly turn around once she has pooped, so she tends to work it to her advantage. We head back home, blown there by the wind. Hit the door and came into warmth, lights twinkling, the smell of hot coffee. After dispensing treats to both Ella and Elby (they both get ’em regardless of who did the good deed), I went online to consult the wind chill factor. They are lying.
Yahoo states that it is 38 degrees and feels like 38 degrees. No, no, it does not. There is a little note about the wind being 10-20 miles per hour, but in the weather people’s infinite wisdom that does not require any synthesis. My understanding of the wind chill factor is that it most assuredly does, so it really feels like it is 18 to 28 degrees, with the emphasis on 18 degrees. So, you ask, how on earth did a Southern California woman learn about the wind chill factor? I am so glad you asked.
I was working and my boss, who was traveling to Chicago, asked me to check the weather. I did and came back to give him the report. Consulting my notes, this was pre-internet days, kids, I said, “Chicago’s weather report says it is 33 degrees with a wind shield factor of 15 miles per hour.”
My boss looked up. “Wind shield factor, Huntie?”
I nodded. “Yes, that is what they said.”
He was gentle. “What do you think that means?”
“Well,” I frowned, “near as I can tell, it must be the way the wind hits the car’s windshield and that’s important to them…” I looked up from my notes to find he was grinning gleefully.
“Oh, Hunt…come with me.” He got up out of his chair, walked down the hall, and got on the microphone to the entire business. “Ladies and Gentlemen, Huntie has the weather report from Chicago. You will be pleased to know it’s 33 degrees with a wind shield factor of 15 miles per hour.” Laughter started. I was still frowning and puzzled. What else could it be? He went on to give them my explanation of the wind shield factor and from there on out, not a day went by without someone asking me what the wind shield factor was for the day…
DP: My random act of kindness was I let him live… Grin.