It’s cold here. So cold! I don’t mind the cold that much, I mean reasonable cold. This cold is epic. When I woke up this morning it was -27°F. Currently, it’s -18°F and falling. 

I’ve experienced these kinds of temps before. I grew up in the 1970s when sub zero temps and record snow falls were pretty commonplace. This current Polar Vortex is breaking all kinds of records. School has been canceled all week and most of the cars parked on my block have their hoods open with jumper cables coming out of them. 

It’s fucking cold.

If you live in warmer parts of the country, no doubt this is all you’ve been hearing about on the news and social media. The cold is blanketing a huge part of the country so it’s a big deal.

It’s an even bigger deal if you’re in it.

That’s not hyperbole. 

While this is not a hurricane, or an earthquake or a volcanic eruption, it sucks just as badly. 

It sucks because it is so incredibly anxiety provoking. Winters always are for me. Up until last week my daughter used a space heater in her bedroom. I wouldn’t allow her to use it while she slept because I was worried about it catching fire. Her use of the space heater always caused me anxiety, but she needed heat so I sucked it up. 

Last week my brother installed heat in her room. It was a Christmas gift he gave to me. A gift that means more to me than anything else I can think of. Again, not hyperbole, as I write this I am tearing up about his kindness. We knew this weather was coming, he moved mountains to pull down the wall, install the vent, and then repair the wall before it got this cold. He gave my daughter a comfortable room, but he gave me peace of mind.

This cold is also anxiety provoking. My furnace has been kicking in every 7 or 8 minutes. The added vent running upstairs may have put added stress on it. I’m not sure because I have closed off the vent in my office – the one he tapped off to go upstairs – so she has heat and to reduce stress on the furnace. 

I’m not sure it matters, it’s that cold. 

This cold just heightens the worries and fears I have on a regular day. The difference is that I’m trying to stay warm so I have two pairs of tights on, a pair of yoga pants, a t-shirt, sweatshirt and pullover hoodie, two pairs of socks and slippers. Going to the bathroom is a production. If something happens at night, I have to move fast to get socks boots and all the other gear on to go outside and stand there in the cold. 

This is the shit that fills my mind 24/7, the extra layers slow me down – that’s anxiety producing.

It sucks so much.

We have one more night of this shit, temps could reach -30°F tonight. Many people have lost power, have frozen pipes and have had their furnace quit. My fingers have been crossed since this started on Tuesday. I’ve been talking up my furnace – “you’re doing a great job, I love you, keep it going!” – and I mean it. I am grateful to my furnace for all it is doing to keep my family safe and warm.

You see if the furnace fails it’s going to be cold. Getting someone here to fix it before the sun comes up will be impossible and the cost will be astronomical. If there was a fire and we had to leave the house we’d freeze, or the animals would. My daughter’s birds wouldn’t make it out alive, nor would my fish. Not sure I could find the cats, but they have a lot of fur, the dog won’t leave my side so I’m not worried about her. It’s dark, everything is worse when it is dark, especially when it’s this cold.

This fear is overwhelming. 

My car did start, another thing I am thankful for, but the worry that the brake lines will freeze and fail keeps me from wanting to drive the car if I don’t have to. I’m not even sure where if that’s a thing, but it’s in there now so…

These could be irrational fears, I am certainly prone to those kinds of fears, but I don’t think these are. I keep hearing fire trucks rumbling through the neighborhood and that terrifies me because if it can happen to a neighbor it can happen to me. 

As single mom, I sleep lightly. I am always worried about something going wrong. The slightest noise can startle me awake, while the lack of noise can do the same. Did I mention I am hyper sensitive to smell? The coffee place three blocks away roasts their beans and I am sure the house is burning down. It’s crazy.

I’ve just got to make it through another 10-12 hours before this cold snap breaks. I’d love to curl up in a blanket with a good book like it was some stock photo, but that’s not going to happen while my siding pops and I have to tape booties on the dog so she can go out and pee. 

Frozen wine

Thankfully, I had some wine chilling on my porch. 

One more night, I can do it.