Monday, February 3, 2014

Polar Vortex

It’s a new phrase, polar vortex.  Means “damn cold”, primarily in places where it shouldn’t be.  People in the upper Midwest, Cleveland and the Dakotas are used to temperatures dipping below zero in winter.  Alabama and Georgia?  Not so much.  For me, living here in Baltimore County, Maryland, at the north end of what is known as the mid-Atlantic (the “New England” states start just 30 miles to the north of me in Pennsylvania), temperatures below zero, whether actual or with the wind-chill factored in, are an anomaly.  Needless to say, we’ve been breaking records here in Baltimore for the past few weeks.

That said, I dressed for warmth, not style last week for my commute to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.  I wanted to be plenty insulated while standing on the elevated, outdoor platform awaiting my subway train into the District of Columbia.  The winds were gusting, making it feel like 10 degrees below zero, according to the weather service.  I didn’t care how bulky I looked. I just wanted to be warm.

I started with long underwear from Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI).  Over that I layered a pair of loose-fitting, vintage pinstriped jeans by Lee.  I topped my thermal undershirt with a thick turtleneck sweater by Papagallo, woven of super soft Polyester yarn. I gathered my hair up under a brown leather newsboy cap by Liz Claiborne and added a pair of earrings from Fire & Ice jewelers of Baltimore which featured chocolate crystals and iridescent beads. I added champagne-colored booties by American Eagle and a furry brown neck wrap, the latter a birthday gift last year to my sister, Leslie, from my brother, Dave, and his wife, Jane.  Living in sunny California the way she does, Leslie said she doesn’t have any need for fuzzy neckwear.  She asked if I would like to have the scarf, as well as a set of matching earmuffs.  Indeed. I thought of the east coast’s “Snowmaggedon” of 2010 and snatched the plush accessories out of her outstretched hands.  

Snuggled in this warm attire, I set out for work.  No amount of frosty air could penetrate my cozy layers.  In the midst of the polar vortex, I was toasty as could be.

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