It was 1 degree this morning when I got in the car with all 3 boys to take Noah to school. In a few years, when I’m happily living in California, I think I will not remember what 1 degree feels like. I hope so. But for posterity’s sake, this is what 1 degree feels like:
It hurts. Every bit of skin surface that is not covered, stings. It just stings. I imagine it’s the same feeling as when you get a wart frozen off. But it’s your wrist skin and your nose and cheeks that sting and feel like they’re being frozen off. It doesn’t take that much time either. For instance, it hurt as soon as I opened the front door and the air hit my face. I felt like swearing like a sailor. I wanted to do something that I heard someone do two summers ago – we were vacationing on Lake Michigan, having a beach trip, and it was the height of summer, but Lake Michigan was frigid. One daring soul ventured out into the water and starting screaming the F-word, long and loud. That’s what I felt like doing this morning when I opened the front door. I didn’t though and I feel like I deserve props for not screaming the F-word, long and loud.
There’s also no “bright side” to this weather. When it’s this cold outside you can’t even enjoy the snow or outdoors. You just have to bundle up inside, crank up the thermostat and try not to leave, for any reason, unless you need food. At which point, you try to send Daniel.
And it has been so long living here in Michigan that I am beginning to doubt myself. I think I liked going outdoors before here, didn’t I? I think I went camping and bike riding and roller blading and snowboarding, didn’t I? I think I was an active person, who enjoyed the wilderness and had a fond feeling for the mountains and pine trees, didn’t I? I remember going to the beach and actually getting in the water … and didn’t I boogie board? Didn’t I look for opportunities to get outside and go to the park? I have the foggiest memory of doing fun, outdoor recreation but I’ve been here for almost 6 years now and I haven’t done those things. Michigan has ruined my memories of the beach and camping and snowboarding. It has made those memories horrible for the past 6 years and I am beginning to think I don’t like being outside. I know I don’t like being outside in Michigan. The summers are so short and humid and the land is so flat and mountain-less and the snowboarding is so crappy and the cold is soooooooo cold. I think if I stay here much longer, I will morph into a sad, indoor person that surfs the internet a lot and plans trips away from here.
Also, I don’t think it’s healthy to live in weather like this. You end up indoors, breathing stale air and getting sick, then passing all your illness to everyone in your family … twice. And my skin is cracking and hard. Daniel’s skin gets super dry and flakes off, all over his body and Noah’s knuckles get so dry that they crack and bleed … often. To sum up: I want to curse because it’s so cold, we’re sick, stuck indoors, I’m losing my identity and our skin is cracking and falling off. So, I’m done. Done with Michigan. Ready to scoot on out of here and never come back … ever, never ever. I will miss my friends. They are good people, I feel bad for leaving them here, but I will just have them come visit me in a warmer climate I keep talking like we’re leaving, and I hope we are, but we have no real plans just yet.
So here’s the news on Ray lately – he’s cut his second bottom tooth!
He’s gorgeous. Hopefully, he will have no remembrance of Michigan. Lately, I noticed that Ray loves tags and small strings. He’s learning how to use his little pincher fingers and doing great. He sits up unassisted a lot now, although every once in a while he’ll be sitting there and then just fall over … hard and we feel like bad parents. He’s been sick for about a week now and he had a fever over the weekend and today he has a strange rash on his body ….. in short, there is always something to worry about with Ray. I am in a constant state of worry over him. Is he too cold? Too hot? Eating enough? Drinking/nursing enough? When did I feed him last? What’s his temperature now? Too low? Too high? When did he get Ibuprofen last? …. constant state of worry. When does this part end? I don’t remember when it happened with Liam. But Liam was so chubby, I didn’t really worry about his eating habits. Even if he had stopped eating for a few days, he had reserves, if you know what I mean. Anyway, my little Ray is so little, I just worry about him all the time. We go in to weigh him in a week and a half, so we’ll see how he’s doing.
Until then, I will not run screaming to the car, drive to the airport and fly west and never come back farther east than Arizona ever again in my life (like I sometimes imagine myself doing), instead, I will get some shorts on and go workout in the basement, take a shower and maybe make some hairbands for little Chiara (Aria’s baby girl due on March 6th).