People in upstate New York, like bears, go into hibernation around October/November and come out again around May…possibly June, basically whenever winter decides to become summer. There is a lot of snow here, especially since we live right on the lake. It’s not like Colorado. The snow doesn’t dump one day and melt the next. No, no, the snow here stays on the ground and continues to come down. It’s not even fun to play in the snow because the temperatures reach an uncomfortable -30+. It hurts to breathe when you walk outside and no amount of clothing can keep your bones from chilling on the dreadful walk from your car to the front door. Now it may seem as though I am exaggerating when I say how cold it is. But I’m a person who likes proof so I will entertain you with first hand stories of “The Tundra.”
Upon waking up one morning, I quickly scurried downstairs to the bathroom in hope of turning on a nice, hot, egg shower. I quickly realized that water would not come out of the shower head, or the bathroom sink, or the kitchen sink, or any type of water spout in our house. Realizing that the pipes were evidently frozen, I called Bill, our landlord and he quickly came over. We spent the afternoon blow-drying our pipes. And yes, I’m serious. We actually used blow-dryers to thaw out our pipes. Cosmetic tools can come in handy! After this, Bill suggested we leave the water dripping so that they wouldn’t freeze again. I knew we had to as it is the common cure for frozen pipes but naturally, the thought of eggs continually pouring out of our pipes gave me nightmares. More than the awful stench however, I wanted a hot shower, so I gave in. You see, the shower is really the only warm place in our house. We were blessed with a lack of insulation and floorboard heaters; one in the kitchen, two in the bathroom, two in the dining room, and zero in the family room. Needless to say, heat does not flow through our house gracefully, if at all. So like I said, I let the pipes drip, curled up in my Snuggie (best present ever, thank you Jeffrey) and waited for our pipes to warm up. The next morning, I raced from my snuggly warm bed to the bathroom in hopes of taking a hot shower. Instead, I found an ice bath. Being an athlete, I am used to ice baths. Even though they are painful, they are also rewarding in the end. This ice bath, not so much. Because we had let the pipes drip (like we wee supposed too) and because our house heats up to below freezing temperatures, the water that was dripping out of the spout created a solid sheet of ice on the bottom of our bathtub. Painful, and unrewarding. To continue with this freezing rant, I soon discovered that Olive Oil cannot sit in our pantry, as it too freezes into a solid block of oily ice. But since our refrigerator was and still is broken (the freezer works just fine by the way) the pantry has been a cool place to store food that we wouldn’t want to go bad. In essence, Mother Nature in the North is no joke. Cold can always be colder and you haven’t really experienced arctic living until your bathtub freezes.