Everyday Epiphany, humor, Outdoors

Polar Vortex Lemons Into Lemonade

Polar Vortex cracked its knuckles overhead then pounded its fists on our roof.

Sound Sleep cowered with thoughts as dark as the night.

None of these poetic musings emerged as I rolled out of bed. (Encased in long underwear, flannel pajamas, ice skating socks and weigh down by a down quilt, “rolled” exaggerated the grace of my extraction.)

Pops and snaps joined by borderline booms woke me in the early hours of the coldest night I’d experienced in a few decades. Temperatures plummeted to negative bazillion (without wind chill factoring) and challenged the animate and inanimate. 

Expecting the din to be the effect of an undesirable cause I hoped for the best while expecting the worst. With numb fingers crossed I inspected bathrooms and kitchen for frozen pipes having had enough of it and bursting. Then I scanned lawns for fallen pines that had surrendered to the bitter cold. 

With pipes intact and pines upright I continued my quest for the source of the racket.  

I Googled  “polar vortex”.

House Shivers and Frost Quakes

Our home and lawn disliked the polar vortex more than I. 

The wood and nails and glass contracted and heaved and rubbed each other the wrong way protesting the frigid temperatures with pops and snaps. They could have splintered and buckled and cracked. 

No damage – I got off easy.

The ground voiced its displeasure seismically with frost quakes. Saturated soil froze and broke rocks with exploding grunts. 

I can live with broken rocks. It’s called gravel.

While home and lawn complained disturbingly, I just put on more socks.

Opportunities Lost:

Polar Vortex and I faced off for the day. I adopted a “when life gives you lemons make lemonade” attitude. Ignoring the knuckle cracking and fist pounding I attempted to embrace the frigid opportunities of enjoying PV.

I Googled “polar vortex fun”.

Breaking a T shirt

A news segment demonstrated how a soaked t-shirt froze instantly in the inclement weather. The rigid top, when whacked against a hard surface, would crack. The reporter struck the shirt a dozen times before the repercussions affected the garment. 

Although soaking and whacking one of Mike’s beer t-shirts and thereby eliminating it from his wardrobe held appeal, I didn’t want to stand outside. I could have brought it inside once frozen and whacked it against the table, but then the warmth would thaw it, and I’d end up with a wet t-shirt dripping on my floor. 

Instead I slipped on a favorite t-shirt over my long underwear and under my fleece jacket and wandered downstairs with my iPad. The search for PV fun continued. 

Freezing Egg And Orange

A YouTube contribution showed a man cracking an egg on a picnic bench resulting in a frozen sunny side up concoction. He then shattered the egg by pummeling it with a frozen orange. 

I mulled over this fun activity. It wouldn’t take as long as the frozen t-shirt, but I’d still have to stand outside to slide the egg off the plate. 

Ditching the idea, but not the egg and orange portion of it, I poached the egg and poured a glass of orange juice for breakfast.

Throwing Boiling Water

A science site suggested throwing boiling water into the air. It then turns into snow. A few drops of food coloring added pizazz. 

This one had possibilities. I’d open the door a crack and fling out the water. 

I thought about the states of water as the pan boiled on the stove- solid, liquid, vapor. Then I thought about how I could use the boiling water for a cup of chamomile tea. I flung away the flinging idea and wrapped my chilled fingers around a steamy mug.

Making Maple Sugar Candy

A winter fun with kids’ site included a Maple Sugar Candy recipe that used two ingredients – maple syrup and clean snow to pour it into. Winding the cooled syrup around a wooden spoon created a sweet treat. 

This would have been an option, but I was counting carbs. It meant getting off the stool, dressing, and finding clean snow- all for frozen maple candy on a stick that I couldn’t eat. 

I considered making a frozen mimosa with the rest of my orange juice, but drinking champagne alone in the early morning during the week sounded like the road to ruin.

Inflating And Deflating Balloons

The same kids’ site showed how an inflated balloon deflated when taken outside in the frigid air. Then it reflated when brought inside to the warmth.

This was it! I’d only need to crack the door, stick out my balloon holding hand for a few seconds, and bring it back in to have fun with PV! 

I kept the balloons in the upstairs closet outside our bedroom. I paused at the top of the flight. From there I could see the bed and the closet. Maybe it was the chamomile tea or the early morning awakening, but sleep beckoned louder than the balloon. I snuggled back in bed and pulled the quilt over me. 

Perhaps the best way to make polar vortex lemons into lemonade is to sleep in. 

8 thoughts on “Polar Vortex Lemons Into Lemonade”

  1. Fun ideas! But I like how you adapted them so you could stay inside, Anita. When I was a kid my brother tapped maple trees and my mother converted our kitchen into a hot mess by boiling it down. The best part was taking hot syrup and throwing it on snow to make maple ‘candy.’ You’ve taken me on a trip down memory lane. Polar vortex gave us cold temps in Maine, too, though not as cold as the Midwest. Fifty plus degrees yesterday gave us round 1 of mud season. More to come.


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