It's -5 here this morning and we're getting wind chills of -15 to -20 today.
My usual comment is, "Americans are turning into a bunch of (you probably know how it ends)" but I will simply state here that Americans are getting soft and most of them act like going outside is some kind of major adventure where imminent death awaits.
From the time she started school at age six, my Mom walked three miles (I mapped and measured it) to school every day back in the early 1930's and at the end of the day she walked three miles back home. This wasn't in an urban area on city streets, mind you, half this route was through the middle of some hilly timber (in the dark on the way there) and half of it was down a set of railroad tracks out in the open. Her family didn't have any money so I can only imagine what kind of clothes and shoes she wore. They mapped out all the hay piles along the way and if they were really cold they would burrow into them to warm up.
If somebody made their kid do that today, they'd wind up in prison for child abuse. You know what, though? She seemed to have survived it and lived another 80 years.
Look at George Mallory. His body was found a few years ago just below the summit of Mount Everest and there's a lot of speculation that he actually made it to the top and fell on his way back down in 1924. He was wearing hobnailed boots, a tweed jacket and silk long underwear.
I've always made efforts, when advancing my theory of us deteriorating into a nation of soft candyasses, to respect those among us who habituate low-income/poverty situations but, let's face it, for the most part even they have access to clothing that far exceeds anything Mallory was wearing 200 feet below Everest's summit and unless they're homeless, reside in abodes far superior to what people have lived in for tens of thousands of years prior since our first ancestors decided to venture out of equatorial zones and inhabit the more Northern climes.
I even see it here in small-town America. When I was a kid, everybody walked to school. The furthest any kid in town would have to travel to reach the school is about half a mile. If your parents drove you to school, you were considered some kind of freak.
Now, due to "safety concerns," they've had to make certain streets one-way during school hours and set up a series of barrels and cones in the parking lot so parents' vehicles can only travel through it in one directions because of "congestion" before and after school.
Here's an idea: make your kids walk to school if they're physically able and keep all your cars out of the parking lot in the first place.
I find this even more amusing on mornings like this because school was actually cancelled here today due to the low temperatures and wind chills.
So, wind chills of -15 here today. So what? It's not like I have to go out and traipse through the woods to find animals to kill for sustenance and clothing. If this was a work day and I got there and found out I was assigned outside and had to stay out there for 8 hours, I would most likely survive such a "dangerous ordeal."
I think I need to go online and order a shirt that says "I Survived The 2013/2014 Polar Vortices."
A nation of candyasses, I tell you. I will continue to say it even though I am starting to sound eerily like my late grandparents. I guess they were right all along.