Comfortably miserable. Yes, that about sums it up. The wind chill is a meager 4 degrees outside, the wind is howling and beating my truck around. But inside, I am running the heat and relaxing with a cup of coffee, some off-brand cookies, and a Bill Buckley book. I'm comfortable amidst the misery, which I might as well be since the road and weather conditions have me "stuck like chuck" (to use my daughter's favorite phrase), at this little gas station.
But watching the snow blow by, the cars slip and slide, the people lower their heads and lean into powerful gusts of blowing snow, I keep asking myself why? The people here are friendly. They offer a smile and a greeting to this stranger. But I keep hearing the words that Jeff Dunham's ventriloquist character Walter offered to a Wisconsin audience during February: "Hellooooo. The borders are open! You can leave!"
So to folks like Duane, or James Lileks, and any number of warm hearted people who don't just travel through these conditions but actually live and thrive in them: How do you do it? And why do so many people choose to do so in weather so cold that hurts?