Friday, January 16, 2009

Cooler by the Lake?

There’s a popular watering hole a few blocks from us called Cooler near the Lake. I was wondering today if they shouldn’t change their name in winter to Warmer near the Lake.

We had another night of subzero temperatures. Out in the county it reached minus 15, and that’s not counting wind chill factors. When I woke up this morning (granted it wasn’t very early), our thermometer read minus seven. Right now, it is actually above zero at plus eight.

There is almost always a difference between the temperature here at the lake and even a short distance inland. In the summer we are cooled by breezes off the lake. Last summer I tracked the change from a mile west of here. As I got closer to home, the rate of change was almost one degree per tenth of a mile.

I can remember when my children were small. In the spring, I would dress them in sweaters and hats to go grocery shopping a mile inland. Other shoppers were dressed in tee shirts and shorts, and my children’s warmer clothes quickly came off. It is not an uncommon sight down here in the summer to see people, out for a walk at the harbor in those tee shirts and shorts, shivering. But this time of year, it means we are a tad warmer. I realize that is relative and minus seven is still brutal, but it is a fact of life at the lake worth noting.

I took this picture this morning of the Christopher Columbus statue that stands in the park at the end of our block. Yes, I was out. I stayed in yesterday, except for a three-minute Burlee walk. That was enough. I needed to get out today. I drove the long way on my errand, so that my car could warm up a bit and I snapped this picture as I went by the statue.

Poor Chris. Doesn’t he know you should cover your ears in this weather? And wear gloves? I guess it wasn’t like this in sunny Spain when he set off to discover new lands. It’s a good thing he didn’t land in Maine. He might not have gotten off the boat.

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