Wicked cold

A smellkald (cracking cold) day on Todd Moe's Norwegian thermometer. Photo: Todd Moe

A smellkald (cracking cold) day on Todd Moe’s Norwegian thermometer. Photo: Todd Moe

The forecast just reads “wicked cold” as far out as it runs; it could be permanent for all I know. I expect when the groundhog peeks out on Monday, his eyeballs will freeze solid, hypothermia will stop his heart and he will topple back into his burrow, dead.

According to traditional lore, I believe that means 12 more weeks of winter. R.I.P. Punxsutawney Phil.

I am not a fan of this. This is weather that 2000-piece jigsaw puzzles are made for. And while I won’t actually stick my nose outside the door long enough to need it for warming purposes, I may drink some hot chocolate, in sympathy with those who venture forth like intrepid astronauts onto unearthly terrain. I’ll enjoy reading about their adventures from a chair next to the heat vent.

More power to all of you who delight in skiing and skating, ice climbing, snowmobiling and polar bear swimming, etc. That’s what emergency services are there for.

I’ll be right here–and that’s right–still in my bathrobe, squinting at the glare outside the window. I may read a little; I may even nap a little. The pantry is full and so is the fuel oil tank. It’ll be OK.


13 Comments on “Wicked cold”

  1. Nelly Case says:


    I’m so glad someone finally told it like it is and admitted how bad the winter weather can be in this neck of the woods even when the sun is shining, hence something to avoid however one can. Absolutely everything you wrote is spot on from my viewpoint, too, only you know how to do it with humor and delightful pictorial images most of us would never think of. Thanks for being so honest and entertaining at the same time.

  2. Rolene O'Brien says:

    Thank you for being one of those North Country people who don’t venture out on these wicked cold days. I will be keeping you company, albeit from a distance, looking out the window, reading a bit, attempting a puzzle though not of that size, black coffee in hand, NCPR on the radio… all in all, a delightful day as far as I’m concerned. Even without being able to read the below-zero marks on the thermometer, wicked cold it is!

  3. Pat McDonough says:

    Definitely jigsaw puzzle weather!

  4. Caroline says:

    In typical fashion, folklore makes no sense. “Groundhog Day is a day celebrated on February 2. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will persist for six more weeks.” So you should hope that he does freeze rock solid on Monday!

  5. Terry says:

    Smart moves, Dale!!
    I’ll be doing the same here in the Southern Adirondacks.
    I might sneak out, heat the car up, and motor to Blue Mt. Lake for a little Cabin Fever fun tomorrow!

  6. Bill May says:

    So why do you live in the North Country?

  7. Deb Packard says:

    Thanks for your wonderful sense of humor – Along with a book, the fire, and my couch it helps get through this wickedness!

  8. Claudia MacDonald says:

    I don’t seem to feel the cold as much this week as I did several weeks ago. Guess I’m getting used to it!

  9. Rob Farkas says:

    Ahhhhhh, the joys of hibernation…

  10. ncpradmin says:

    Hi Bill–

    Because it’s great jigsaw puzzle country.


  11. Jim Savage says:

    The message of Ground Hogs Day (GHD) seems to have become twisted and mixed (twismxup) over time. A hundred years ago when I was a lad, the GHD omen was;
    1. If the GH saw his shadow, we could hope for an early Spring. The coalliery to that being no shadow, we could expect 6 more weeks of winter, or,
    2. If the little beastie did see his shadow we would see Spring appear in 6 weeks. If no shadow Spring would appear much later.
    Modern day broadcasters appear to have translated those two possibilities into and endless number of possibilities. The legend was losing prominence up here when in the 1990s Wiarton Willy (A Canadian counterpart to Panxsutawney Phil) was dragged out of his liar not unwillingly but DEAD. An event newsworthy noted by family members scuba diving in the South Pacific. (Whusses that they are in avoiding winter.)
    Look on the positive side of “Wicked Cold” It builds character and keeps the mosquitos down!!

  12. Walter Relling says:

    Too funny!

  13. Pat Nelson says:

    If you think about 6 more weeks of winter, that means spring will start in mid-March! How often does spring start that early in the North Country?

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