On the television show, Seinfeld, George once complained about â€œshrinkageâ€ when his favorite male body part was exposed to cold ocean water.Â Well, George, try living in Minnesota when the actual air temperature is â€œzero,â€ and the windchill factor drops the temperature to -15 or-20. As in below zero. Iâ€™m not a guy, but even I feel like my more interesting lady bits shrink at those extremes.
Today was a shrinkage day.Â It was four below zero as we drove to church, and the seat warmers in my car were working hard to erase the grimace from our, um, faces.
To make matters more interesting the church doors we usually enter were still locked, so we had to skid and shuffle our way around the building to find a door that was open.
Once inside, congregation members blithely mentioned the wondrous crispness of the day while I appeared to be glaring at them in response. (Actually my eyeballs were frozen, but the effect was in keeping with my mood. Wondrous crispness? Wondrous crispness? Thatâ€™s like saying Mt. Everest is a fairly big hill.)
After the first service ended, my husband stayed at church to attend a council meeting while I dashed off to pick up our weekly groceries. Gripping the icy steering wheel, I angled the vents and blasted the car heater on my frozen fingers. Slowly, so painfully slowly, the white skin turn pinkish-red in gratitude.
Arriving at the grocery store parking lot, I noted a young couple poorly dressed for the weather. Both had on tennis shoes, blue jeans, and sweatshirts, but no coats, hats or gloves. I wondered if they, too, thought it was a wondrously crisp day.
It would seem so because they were in great spirits and sprinted playfully to the entrance. The young fellow ran backwards, cheering his girlfriend on, as her shoulderâ€™s hunched in what appeared to be tormented terminal goosebumps. They were cute. Insane, but cute.
After I made my purchases and was about to leave the store, I saw an older couple preparing to head outside too. The gentleman wore a fragile smile as his–I assume wife–gently buttoned up his coat, tucked a wool scarf around his neck and pulled his collar up as high as possible.Â The tenderness in her actions was so vivid that I felt one of those warm fuzzies that went out of style in the 1980â€™s. (I recently found a warm fuzzy stuck to the bottom of an old Care Bear, but it had expired.)
Feeling all gooey from watching the senior lovers, I refrained from audibly going, â€œAwwww…,â€ but only because I was holding a bag of groceries and using my front teeth to pull on my gloves.
As soon as the automatic doors shut behind me, a cold wind sucker punched me in the face.Â I ignored the blast and walked to the car with a lighter step and better attitude. Witnessing the happiness of those around me regardless of the temperature? It was the best part of my wondrously crisp day.