The thought blew in on an icy gust as I stood next to my poor, shivering little car, eyes streaming, nose running, hair flapping, bare hand stuck to the gas nozzle like a wet tongue on a frozen flagpole.
This polar vortex is going to be fun.
It will be, too, because every season has a gift, some are just hidden a little deeper under the Christmas tree.
Without further achoo, then, here are my seven reasons you’re going to love #PolarVortex2014:
- Shivering burns more calories than you’d think. According to an oft cited (by me) study from the U.S. National Institute of Health, shivering stimulates irisin secretion in humans, which sounds a little naughty but just means you’re burning fat. Shiver a mere 15 minutes and you can log a whole hour of exercise into your my Fitness Pal account. No sweat.
- Say good-bye to any aspirations for an hour-glass figure, which, of late, have led to an embarrassing overuse of baby oil and underuse of clothing within a certain inexplicably trending family. During a polar vortex, doopas stay covered and the proper silhouette looks more like a nice, frosty mug than an hour-glass. Layer up and live happy.
- Three words, my friends. Hot. Buttered. Rum. A wicked drink in any other season, this cup of comfort and joy feels absolutely right during an extended cold snap. Sip a little outside Lambeau Field and you’re sure to have a great time in it, even if you are an Eagles’ fan.
- Wassail. Seriously, how often can you work that verb into your sentence? You can’t say it without a smile. Gather a few of your friends and wassail your way around town. (Just be sure to Uber your way back home. We don’t want you feelin’ no frostbite when you’re feelin’ no pain).
- Hot apple pie. You have to heat the house, right? Why not start with the oven? There’s nothing like the smell of buttery cinnamon on a cold afternoon. Serve it with a big ole scoop of vanilla ice cream, too, just because you can. (See No. 1).
- Fuzzy green robes. Don’t own one? Well, that’s a darn shame. I wear mine like a hug. Jammy up as early as possible and feel the day’s stress melt away.
- Greet your neighbors in shorthand. I passed my neighbor on the street yesterday and we had a whole conversation as I walked briskly south and she headed just as briskly north. Oh sure, neither one of us understood a single thing we were saying. It sounded, through our layered scarves, a little like the glub glub glub a stopped-up drain makes when it finally breaks free. The point is, we chatted, kept moving, and probably burned a few extra shivering calories too.
As much pleasure as it would give me to post a nice picture of myself enjoying the polar vortex and a Hot. Buttered.Rum, I think we’ve all seen enough of me and my fuzzy, green bathrobe. Instead, please enjoy this fantastic display of Polar Vortex celebration. The Appleton Department of Public Works and 11 Appleton Area School District elementary schools teamed up to paint these snow plows, which will definitely give a cheerier air to the winter season. Bring it on!