I am not sure if it is possible to be any colder than I was last night. Perhaps if I were driving a team of dogs during the Iditarod, then, yes, that would be a bit colder…but not much. When I had been visiting Bob here in Rochester during the past couple of years waiting for my son Brandon, to finish high school so I could move and start our connubial bliss, my frequent visits were punctuated by chilly weather but unbearable? Nahhh. Having lived in the mountains of Colorado for several years, I thought I was made of hearty stock. Just give me a fleece lined pair of leggings and some fuzzy socks and I was good to go… Or so I thought. Nothing ever prepared me for the past couple of days. I was sure the outside temperature gauge on my SUV was broken. How was it possibly registering 0 degrees? I flipped on the heated seats and heated steering wheel, warmed up my bottom and thawed out my fingers and began to feel relatively comfortable. That is, until I came home. With Bob captaining the snow blower and me shoveling the driveway, I began losing sensation in my fingers and toes. Jack Frost was doing a lot more than nipping at my nose and I was miserable. But then, things got even worse as I took a spill on the black ice worthy of a Three Stooges episode. For those of you unfamiliar with black ice, according to Wikipedia, “black ice refers to a thin coating of glazed ice on a surface. While not truly black, it is virtually transparent, allowing black roadways or the surface below to be seen through it, rendering it practically invisible to drivers or persons stepping on it. There is, thus, a risk of skidding and subsequent accident due to the loss of traction.” As I lay on the ground with a bruised ego and painful backside, I flashed back to an earlier experience with black ice that I had as a teen while growing up on Long Island. My dad had asked me to shovel the driveway before he got home from work but it was so cold that I kept putting it off until the last possible minute. Suddenly, I had a brainstorm of an idea. No need to shovel when I could boil a few pots of water, pour them on the driveway and rid myself of the snow- covered terrain, right? WRONG! Even though the snow seemingly melted away, I didn’t realize that the temperature of the driveway itself was cold enough to almost instantly refreeze the water, thus turning the driveway into a sheet of black ice. While I waited cozily in the house for my father to arrive home and thank me for the amazing job I had done with the chore he had assigned me, I was jarred out of my comfy state by a huge noise, sounding a lot like a crash. I jumped up, ran to the door and saw my father, whose car had skidded on the black ice directly into the garage door. Thankfully, he was fine and the car was only a little banged up. The garage door didn’t fare as well, and I knew in that instant that neither would I. Suffice it to say that my father was not happy with me and the lesson I learned about thinking twice before taking shortcuts is one that stays with me even today. But, as usual, I digress. Back to the weather here in the “land of the freeze, home of the cold wave”. We came inside and I heated up a pot of homemade chicken soup, took some Tylenol for my aching tush, and put on “St. Nick at Nite” (the holiday music Bob programmed on one of the radio stations he oversees). Funny enough, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was playing and as I sang along, I began warming myself up with the knowledge that winter is only for three months. (However, Bob the realist reminded me that it is still technically fall for a few more days.) When we snuggled under the electric blanket that night, I realized that being with the love of my life anywhere, even in this icicle inducing weather, was preferable to being without him, even in the most glorious of climates. That is, until the television weatherman announced that the temperature of minus 4 degrees was a new record, displacing the old record of minus 3… set in 1919. It was then and there I closed my eyes and visions of beach chairs and jetskis danced in my head. Happy Holidays to All and to All a Good Night!