I learned a new phrase yesterday: polar vortex.
Okay, it isn't new, but it's new to me. Actually, it has a nice sound to it. Words you might run across reading an adventure novel; something the villain gets sucked into like a black hole.
Or maybe not so pretty if you see a map of the United States on television and it is all blue. As in freezing temperatures from California to Maine, from Michigan to Florida.
Skeptics are sneering about global warming as if today were proof positive that it isn't occurring. I think proof is in the extremes we've being having, and if this isn't one, I don't know what is.
I had to go out this morning and felt a real empathy for the kids waiting for the school bus. They looked as if they wished they had listened to their mothers for once and put on that hat and scarf.
I wondered about the stray cats we see in our back yard, the black and white tuxedo, the calico and the little black one. Are they safe and warm somewhere?
I worry about the homeless men, women, and families who need shelter and I hope they found it. If ever there was a time for a church to open its doors, this is it.
In a few days the temperature will begin to climb and we will mark this down on our mental calendars like Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and the Big Snow in 2000. In a few years we will be saying, "Do you remember when..."
Or maybe not. It could be that this rare event will become commonplace.
I hope not. But I have learned, as have you, that we can't count on the weather any more. It continues to surprise us.
Polar vortex. Welcome to our vocabulary.