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December 15th, 2008 - Extremities

This is what your mailbox sees when you open the door after shovelling the walk in -9 F, with a -22 F windchill. It sees your wind-burnt schnoz and your struggling to unlatch both eyelids simultaneously. It sees you reach in and fail to get the mail without taking your gloves off, and it hears you curse and struggle taking them off, trying not to touch any metal. It sees your knuckles cracked and bleeding from a -17 degree dew point. And it watches as you close it's door and listens to you hobbling off muttering, "bills, bills, bills." and, "hey, a card from Betsy!"
Your poor mailbox.

Yesterday morning it was 40 degrees to the good, things were melting and life was grand. As the day bore on, the temperature dropped steadily until it was - 2 F upon waking this morning. That remained the "high" for the day. The sun appeared temporarily in a mockery of brightness. 
Many were the stories of the Rime of the Not So Ancient Commuter this morning. 
Some had to abandon all hope of entry to their vehicles as the ice encrustment was too great, even for the hair-dryer set on High Style. Visions of Shackleton and the Endurance flitted darkly with the swirling ice crystals as I searched for a breach of containment wide enough to leverage my barely recognizable car door open. It groaned in resistance as the old maple tree in the Taylor's yard creaked in harmony. I was in. 
But would it start? It would. I had won the weather lottery for this day. 

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