Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's Tougher Than it Looks

Last night our temperatures warmed up about thirty degrees from -31 F (-35 C) to just below zero. As I write this, the airport instruments are showing -2.9 F (-18.8 C). That probably doesn't sound like much of a warming trend, but it makes a big difference, believe me.

Two nights ago, I took my dog out for a walk...or at least I intended to. He was certainly up for it, but about thirty feet from the building he started picking up his feet. Those of you who live in colder regions know that's a sign that it's too cold for unprotected feet. My old dog never got the hang of wearing booties, so he either has to be willing to tough it out or stay inside. When he started falling down, I helped him decide that it was too cold and quickly took him back inside.

Last night was a completely different story. At -2.9 he seemed fine outside, frisky even. He showed no sign of pain at all. Temperatures around zero just don't seem to be all that bad. I can always tell when temperatures drop to about -10 F or lower because the moisture inside my nose always begins to freeze (nice gauge, huh?).

However, this is a windy place and the windchill today has been in the negative 20's, so unprotected skin is still at risk. A couple of my students already have nasty frostbite marks on their faces. So it makes sense to dress warmly and be careful to cover up everything. That sounds simple enough, but it's not always an easy task.

Especially if you're three.

Check out one of my favorite beauties getting into her gear. Those zippers can be tricky...even for me!


By the time I walked up, she already had her inside shoes off and her snow pants on. I caught her struggle with her zipper on video (so cute). Watch her feel for the emblem on her hat. Smart girl. :)

Then Aaka helped with mittens...


...and the overcoat...and the scarf...and the boots.


Finally, if the kid is still breathing, he or she is ready to go outside!



Sandcastle Momma said...

That looks like a LOT of work! How often do they need to use the bathroom right after getting bundled up? LOL
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Kimberlee said...

It does seem like a lot of work, but once you get used to it...I guess it becomes sort of second nature. I have actually NEVER heard a little one say they had to "go" once bundled, but that may just be because I don't teach that age group anymore. I'm sure it's gotta happen sometimes! :)

S N B said...

That child is precious!

Kimberlee said...

I AGREE! I wish I could take credit somehow, but I'm just a grateful observer. :)

Chris said...

What a great way to end the day--reading your blog. It's been over a year since we left BRW, and although I love where we now live, it's wonderful to see and hear reminders of the Arctic. We've never met, but your accounts are so real. Thanks for sharing.

Kimberlee said...

Thank you so much, Chris. I'm very glad you enjoy checking in. How can a face like that not lighten the heart? :) It certainly does mine.

Did you work with Elaine back in Barrow?

Chris said...

I did. Hoping to hear from her at Christmas. Soak up those sunny smiles.

Paul said...

Wow! My kind of weather!!! Temps in Colorado Springs haven't been as cold as AK (abbreviation might be wrong)but they've been around zero much more then normal. Most just turn the heat on in their car. I ride my bike to work so "warming up my car" doesn't really work. :-) But you are right. Any exposed skin is asking for trouble! I found out en route to work that my boots were ready to be retired. That 9.7 miles was really tough on my toes..and I had wool socks on! This "comment" is long enough to be its own blog!:-) I hope your thanksgiving was good!

Kimberlee said...

You have the right abbreviation...AK=Alaska. You have no idea how many people think Alaska is abbreviated AL (or maybe you do). I understand the confusion, but I don't think that makes the good folks in Alabama feel any better. :)

Yikes! Riding almost ten miles in the winter? That sounds tough. I did a bike trip with some people from Colorado Springs back in 2008. Biking must be big there. I'll bet it's only the hardiest of souls that bikes in winter though.

Take care and STAY WARM!