I just took a look. We’ve barely crossed into the new day and temperatures (7 hours before sunrise) already range from 0° to -8° at the ‘official’ reporting stations in Connecticut. I’m positive there are outlying areas already below -15° – and temps will continue to plunge.
So, where am I? Am I dripping water in the kitchen sink? Am I throwing an extra blanket on the bed? Hell no, I’m in Florida with my folks. And, I’m feeling a little bit guilty.
It would be easy to claim I knew it was going to be this bad and planned my vacation accordingly – which would be a lie. It was just dumb luck.
Normally, I visit a place and the newspapers run banner headlines, “COLDEST SOUTH FLORIDA TEMPERATURES EVER” or “LAS VEGAS DELUGE – FLOODING AT RECORD LEVELS.”
I’m like the character William H. Macy plays in the new movie “The Cooler.” Invite me for rain on your parade.
On the other hand, I have lived through my fair share of Northeast winters. I remember the winter of 1968/69. I was a freshman at Emerson College in the Back Bay section of Boston. From my dorm it was a short walk across Storrow Drive to the Charles River.
The winter of 68/69 was brutal. The Charles River froze up early. I was young and a little crazy.
One day, fellow freshman Ed Symkus and I decided to walk to Cambridge… over the frozen river. From Storrow Drive, Cambridge doesn’t look that far away. Trust me, it is.
What you don’t think about as you set out to cross a frozen river is you’re about to walk on a very big ice cube. Your feet are going to get really cold. And, by the time you find out, you’ll be really far away!
We were around halfway across when we heard the voice. It was an MDC (Massachusetts District Commission) policeman, sitting in his warm patrol car, on his P.A. system.
“You two, on the river (he actually said ‘rivah’). Turn around NOW and return to the Boston side.”
It was about that time we realized we might actually fall in… and, we were probably going to get arrested (though in retrospect what would we have been charged with? First Degree Stupid?). We headed back to Boston.
By the time we got back onshore, the policeman had disappeared.
I guess it’s cold enough now, and has been for a long enough time, that the Charles is frozen again. If you know anyone who is thinking about walking to Cambridge, please tell them it’s already been done… and we recommend really warm shoes.