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Chill out, it’s not that cold around here

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POSTED December 17, 2008 12:49 a.m.
It’s not cold.
Maybe cool, possibly chilly, not cold.
It can’t be that cold if the lady at Starbucks asked me if I wanted my green tea hot or cold.
To her credit, I was wearing one portion of my Marmot winter jacket, albeit just the lining. If it truly was cold, I’d be rocking the whole thing, complete with a flannel button-up and my water-proof moccasins.
Trust me, I love winter gear. I turn off the heat in my house just so I can walk around in woolies and full-on trapping wear.
But it’s not cold enough. Chilly, not cold.
Cold was when I fell through the ice that one winter. Cold was snowboarding on fresh powder then using my face to catch the subsequent fall. Cold was daring a freshman to pick up frozen dog excrement to see if it would shatter on the asphalt when it was -30 degrees outside.
Cold is saliva freezing to lips, or glacial snot connecting nostril and mouth. Cold is Harry and Lloyd rolling into Aspen.
Cold is also in 9th grade when that girl said she couldn’t go to the dance because she had to clean the attic of her attic-less home, but that’s for some other Wednesday.
There is something great about putting on those thermals, flannels, fleece, or thick sweatpants that are overkill any other time of year. Maybe it’s the battle against the basic element of cold that makes this time of year tolerable, and maybe even a little welcomed. 
Getting out of bed takes longer, is harder, and feels much worse, but sleep is better, longer and harder.
The battle of Human vs. Cold is not what it was. For the majority of Americans this conflict can be, or is completely alleviated by climate control and family relocation to temperate climates outside the sting of arctic chill.
Still, it’s nice to occasionally realize how much hot air we all exhale.
For the most part, cold is fictional, or a vacation for us, not a daily reality. In parts of Alaska, an early ocean/slough/river freeze blocked the last barge carrying heating oil from reaching some communities.
The oil will have to be flown in to reach these communities like Emmonak that are off the grid. By the way, at 12:30 Monday afternoon, it was 12 in Emmonak, but felt like  minus 2.
What’s worse is that heating oil could go for $11 a gallon if it has to be flown in, and there’s no Bass Pro Shops with thermal undies for $14.
Yeah, it’s not all that cold here.

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