Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Beware the cold

The temperature is supposed to bottom out around 8 degrees in Boston tonight, with wind chills below zero. Christmas Day, 1980, was the coldest day in the city during my lifetime. I remember distinctly the short walk from the house I grew up in to my aunt's house -- just a half block down Chelsea Street -- and feeling the cold as I'd never felt it before.

I remember, as a staff member at the Boys & Girls Club, playing tag football one night when it was minus-1 outside. I was able to galvanize a handful of brave souls to join the game, and after a while most of us shed our outer layers as we got used to the cold.

The coldest temperature I've ever experienced was one morning in central Massachusetts, when the temperature dropped to minus-14. I just had to go outside to feel it, and I bundled up and went into the frigid air. It was an experience.

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