It was when I was a kid (cute as a bugs hind end, I was). It was winter back on the farm and I had come in from feeding the pigs and said 'Geez, it's cold!'

To which my wise old dad said simply 'It's January'.

Uh....OK. True. Thanks, Pop.

My dad was one of those old World War II era farm boys that generally sliced things down to nothin' but the truth, his truth. I remember one time, not too long before he left the planet at age 86, saying to him 'Man, that wind chill is a bear cat out there'. He looked at me from his chair in his Nursing Home room and said 'Well, don't stand in the wind'.

Good idea.

We've had a cold snap around Sioux falls lately, the below zero temps and waaay below zero wind chills. And it got me to thinking (a dangerous proposition on any subject)...how cold is cold?

Well of course, it's all relative. When I see someone from Alabama say it's bitter at 30 degrees, I think 'Ah, if only it was 30 degrees'. When we're near zero, and I check out International Falls I think 'Geez, you guys can have that cold'.

I checked out Wikipedia to see what the definition of cold was and as usual ran into way more than I wanted to know. But there were some interesting tidbits like this little ditty:

When I woke up this morning
it was very cold.
How cold was it?
It was a freezing, sneezing
goose-bumpy, teeth-chattering,
can't-get-out-of-bed,
blankets-over-my-head
kind of cold

But cold was hot in the last half of the 1800's...ice was the 2nd biggest export in the United States behind cotton. But alas, cold wasn't hot anymore once refrigerators replaced the trusty old icebox.

And depending on how cold you think cold is, it can have a  psychological effect on you too.  Apparently when you hit your 'cold' you get depressed...or at least persnickety. Not to mention shivering, and of course even frostbite and worse.

So I suppose we all have our own definition of what cold is.

But I think we can all agree on this: Something called the Boomerang Nebula is the coldest known natural location in the universe. The article says it's a constant 457 degree below zero there. My my, how'd you like to start up the ol' Chevy in the morning there? That makes Antarctica seem like a nice summer vacation spot for the family.

So when someone steps into your home or office or barn or whatever building you happen to be in and says 'Brrr...it's cold!', just give 'em my dad's sage response...

'It's January'.


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