Dear Polar Vortex 2014,
Whoa. You've sent most of the nation into a panic on both physical and emotional levels! Just prior to your predicted arrival, I thought it'd be a good idea to go grocery shopping and stock up for the cold. Well, so did everyone and their cousins. All the stores were raided, and lines were horrendous for pumping gas. Social media exploded with supermarket photos akin to End of the World scenarios. It was also plagued with endless screenshots of weather apps with arctic temps and windchill factors (*raises hand*). We been home for 4 days and counting, so I am sharing what we did whilst you visited. Here are the #TopTen Things We Did during your stay:
10. We wished. Starting before the weekend, we squeezed our eyes shut really tightly and wished with all our mights about school closing due to the frigid temps. Who doesn't want to extend winter vacation? Our first wish came true Saturday night with a call to announce Chinese School closing on Sunday. Whoopee! Then we were blessed with not one, but two days off school. Not much we can do since Mother Nature is to blame, so we just stayed home and thoroughly enjoyed the indoor warmth.
9. We baked. What can be done to fill long stretches of time at home? Make fresh bread! I finally had the time to make tang zhong method bread. With the cold, dry air, I had to double the rising time both times! Though it didn't turn out as fluffy and moist as it was supposed to be, I now have enough experience to tweak and improve the next batch. #BlamingItOnTheDryAir.
8. We watched TV. Kids movies. Cartoons. Tween shows. Football games. Movies. Giada in action. It's been years since I've actually sat down to watch The Food Network. #WhatElseCanWeWatch
7. We learned. My kiddos need lots of help with "what can I do now?" If left alone with no prompts, I will be sure to hear, "I'm bored." Remember the Snap Circuit kits you have? How about the United States of America puzzle? Or there's always Go clean up your huge mess! #GetInSomeEducationalActivities Cuz then we do a lot of the next one.
6. We wasted time. Lots and lots of screen time. #ItISWinterBreak
5. We knitted. I pulled out my gear for a new project! This is a great multitasking activity in front of the tube. I may actually finish something with the help of these extra days off! #GoodForMySoul
3. We experimented. We watched awesome videos on social media (lots of boiling water stunts) and tried to see what we can do with this possibly once-in a lifetime outdoor temp. We sprayed water outside with a spray bottle (cuz it was easier than boiling water) and put a glass of water outside to freeze (cuz we have no imagination whatsoever) (and 8 oz of water still takes a long time to freeze). #DorkyGeeks
2. We got mail. I wasn't going to let this Arctic Blast go without seeing how it actually feels. The mailbox seemed like a good goal for a quick outing. The time it took for me to get bundled up (in scarf, coat, hat, snow pants, snow boots, and gloves) was way longer than my time being outside. Verdict: for the short time I was out there, I was fine, but my fingers got cold real quick. #NowIKnow
1. We cleared the sink. I actually saw the bottom of my kitchen sink on these days at home after three square meals a day. This could be my greatest accomplishment of 2014. Because it's #AllDownhillFromHere
The temperature is now in the positive range, and we fully expect to be in school tomorrow. Come this weekend (high of 37), we'll all be peeling off our winter coats and dancing about outdoors rejoicing the heatwave. There will be shorts and flip flops around here, I guarantee it.
So, Dear Polar Vortex 2014, we were of the fortunate peeps who had heat and food and were excused from school and work. Not everyone was as lucky during your tipsy visit. Photos around the nation showed people braving the cold out of necessity (thank you, Mr. Mailman!) I hope that your temporary presence left negligible permanent damage. As for us, we enjoyed being indoors (no cabin fever!) and having nothing pressing to do. We won't be so happy come June and have to make up the two school days, but that's six months away. At least we'll have warmth then.
Lastly, it was nice to meet your acquaintance, but once is enough even for the bravest of us! You've made your mark, so ta ta for good!
P.S. I did a little reading on the reason behind this record-breaking phenomenon. The Polar Vortex is the air that spins around the North Pole, but has come off its kilter these few days. It is being compared to a spinning figure skater who has extended his/her arms to slow down but got off balanced and tipped over. This mass of low pressure air descended upon us as a result. The cause for this broken top is too much arctic ice melting and the heat reentering the atmosphere, throwing off the Polar Vortex air. It is basically and unfortunately global warming in action. Source: npr.