Today, temperatures in Chicago dipped down to ridiculous lows. It was apparently due to something called a Polar Vortex, which I’d never heard of before, but suffice to say that a bunch of cold air came down from the Arctic, temporarily making Chicago and most of the midwest colder than Alaska. The actual temperature got down to 16 below zero, a record low, with wind chills of forty below and colder:
Happily, both my office and Joe’s office sent out emails that they’d be letting people work from home due to the cold weather, so we were able to avoid the 15-minute walk to the train station. Lillian still went to daycare, which is luckily only about 100 feet from our house, so we were able to bundle her in many layers and then Joe carried her there as quickly as he could. (I’m told she said “Hurry! Cold!” the whole way, but they made it there safely.)
Overall it was sort of like a “snow day”, except with clear blue skies and without any actual snow to shovel. And it was nice to know that our house’s heating system is able to keep up with these record cold temperatures — it remained warm and toasty inside the entire day.
On Sunday, after hearing about the predicted cold but before knowing for sure that we wouldn’t be venturing outside, we were at Target and thought we’d try to pick up some long thermal underwear to help layer up against the cold. But it turned out to be a moot point — the rack where they’d been was picked over like a carcass by scavengers, with only a few undershirts remaining:
Moral of the story: Don’t expect to be able to buy long thermal underwear the day before a Polar Vortex, just like you can’t expect to be able to buy baby mittens in February.
And finally, when Lillian came home today, she proudly showed us this cute little construction paper penguin she made:
It couldn’t have been more fitting. Today was definitely a day for the penguins!