Residents of Southern California and its southern neighbor, Baja California, are whining about “freezing” temperatures this January. The Baja Freeze 2013 panic has also hit my Ensenada area.
As a former 30 year resident of Colorado, I have experienced a few days in extreme cold.
In 1984 at Mary Jane Ski Resort, my brother turned to me and asked, “So, if I see your nose turning blue, do you think that may be a sign of frostbite and that we have had enough skiing for the day?”. When we got down the hill and into the coffee shop, the temperature was -20sF with a wind chill below -50F. That was cold. We were idiots.
Not to be outdone, this episode occurred one Easter Sunday snowstorm. This snow was not the romantic Bing Crosby fluffy stuff. It was a driving snow mixed with frozen rain and had accumulated an inch in an hour. Friends, driving by a suburban Denver golf course on their way to dinner noticed two imbeciles golfing in this snow storm. “What kind of idiots would golf today?”, they asked each other. Guess which idiots?
Our friends recognized us that day and were excited to call us later(pre-cell phone era) and ask us why we were golfing. These friends of ours were golfers. That was obviously the wrong question. A real golfer would simply ask, “What was your score?”.
Back to the Baja Freeze, to be fair, most locals don’t have a heat source in their homes here. The R2D2 propane heaters on wheels are very popular and I have witnessed their efficacy in friends homes.
There are typically about 10-12 heating required nights here in Ensenada from December through March. Double that number for just the comfort and pleasure of a romantic fire. But, this early winter season has already blown through a dirty dozen of drafty, discomforting nights.
Another problem for ex-patriots here is that they mostly come from SoCal, so they don’t own true cold weather clothingb for the occasional cold spell. Tommy Bajama and flip flops aren’t recommended below 50F.
I will think about those living in the dirt and without roofs over their heads here. This weather will cost lives and health problems for many of them. Many of us gringos do a little to help, but, not nearly enough.
Makes me realize how lucky I am by a fluke of the universe.
So, I have my propane fireplace cranking with temps predicted to hover in mid 30s Fahrenheit this Monday night. The weather at night the past 2 weeks has been brisk, cool, chilly, brisk and nippy.
But is not freezing here. The clam/bass seafood chowder is also helping my health.
I don’t have a thermometer, but, I’m guessing it’s about 70F/21C here in my living room tonight. The R H Peterson fireplace log set that I purchased in 2007 was a wise investment and enjoyable feature for chilly weather.
My old Denver neighborhood is headed to 0F, NO DEGREES, tonight. So one man’s cool 35F is another’s warm spell.
Sending you toasty warmth.