I live in the Midwest. Winters are cold and often unpredictable. The only thing we are certain of is that it will be cold enough to make your nipples fall off while being fully dressed in winter gear. It's currently a whopping 5 degrees. F I V E! That's a single digit. I won't get into the wind chill factor. For those of you that live in warmer climates that brings it BELOW ZERO. Extremities will freeze instantly. The benefit of it being that cold when your fingers and nose fall off (or nipples) is that you won't realize it at the time. You'll be a frozen human shaped block of ice. Once you defrost you can freak out from being less one earlobe.
I'm so absolutely grateful that I was able to get a newer car back in March. For 2 years I had driven a 1993 Pontiac Sunbird without functional heat. It blew air, but it never got warm. Now I'm cruising in a 2004 Saturn L300 with heated leather seats. Let me tell you NOTHING is finer than having your frozen tushy make contact with that warmth. At first I felt as if I'd wet my pants, but I'm accustomed to the sensation now. The chills that would normally run up my spine and into my brain are subsided with the lumbar warmer. Ooh la la! Now if it would just massage me, too.
I'm also fortunate to have a garage in which to park my ride. It's not attached to the house, but it keeps the frost and snow off the windows. I'm cold sensitive. When I was little I suffered a minor frostbite incident. My brother, cousin and I were sledding at a place we townies refer to as Poop Hill (it's near the sewage treatment plant; therefore casting of a smell of pooh gas). Back in the day we didn't have 3M Thinsulate gloves. We had mittens that were made of wool. Wool that would get wet and then freeze our phalanges. We huddled together in a phone booth to call my aunt. I recall taking off my gloves because I couldn't feel the tips of my fingers. I stuck my middle finger in my mouth and, without thinking, pressed my canine tooth into it. Blood! I didn't feel pain, but I realized I had bitten down a tad too hard. I couldn't feel it! My finger was frozen!! I also realized I had some sharp little teeth!!
Ever since then, and as I've aged, my fingers turn white when it's cold. It doesn't take much for that middle finger to turn 'dead'. It's amusing to hold up and shock people. First, they're slightly offended that I'm flipping them the bird. Then, I explain that I'm just showing them my creepy frostbite finger. I do it like they do in the movies so not to be offensive. It's not a full-fledged flip off. My index and ring fingers are bent at the knuckle. HA!
I heard from a friend in Florida that he's wearing shorts today. There's an expected high of 74. My first instinct was to tell him he's a punk and needs to shut up! But then, I'm the idiot who's chosen to live in the armpit of America. In the summer it's a miserable humid yuckiness. In the winter it's cold...often bitter cold. We have two seasons here: Nasty and Worse.
I lived in Georgia for 8 years. I was in the northeast region of the state. We still had winters, but not quite as awful as here in Illinois. Summers were still funky humid, but I somehow didn't think they were that bad. I moved back here for the benefit of being closer to family. My son and I needed to reap the benefits of being ensconced with familial warmth. I just wish that warmth kept my fingers from turning deathly white :)