Monday, January 21, 2013

Really. It's not cold

Many years ago, when I was a Scoutmaster, we'd go camping in all kinds of weather. Inevitably, even if the temperature was like a summer morning, a Scout or two would complain he was cold.
"It's not cold," I'd tell him. And as summer moved into fall and into winter, I'd continue to tell him "It's not cold. It's a little nippy." Or, "It's brisk!"
Uh, huh.
The Scouts, bright kids all, were a little skeptical, but they played along. So did my own children.
They decided that perhaps Dad was a little deluded, but they weren't cold.
Eventually, I developed a formal scale, which, with some expansion and tweaking, is illustrated above.
One winter, we took a trip to Searchmont with the Scouts to go skiing, and the Great Lakes region had been enveloped in bitter arctic air. As we drove down into a valley in the Laurentians north of Sault Ste. Marie, I was watching the temperature readout on Kissy Missy's minivan. It kept dropping.
"OK. It's cold," I said calmly.
In the back seat, Katherine shrieked. We still went skiing.
Wind chill, by the way, counts. And tonight, with the wind chill, it will get cold.
But not cold enough to go inside.

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