Temperature Check

It has been a cold winter; there is no question about that. Even in the early days of March, the morning temperature still hovers around the 0° point. One day recently, I went into the kitchen at just about the crack of dawn and glanced at our indoor/outdoor thermometer. The outdoor temperature read -1°. This fact barely registered in my brain; the morning low had been nearly the same for days, maybe weeks.

I went about my early morning business packing lunches, filling water bottles, and overseeing the consumption of breakfast. My mind was not fully on the task at hand because I was pondering the day ahead. W came to the kitchen, puttered around for a minute longer than usual, and fixed himself breakfast. C stumbled down the stairs next. He stood in front of the open fridge for a moment, declared the space void of anything edible, and began packing his backpack.

Sandwiches were made, thermoses filled. I moved on to water bottles. J made her way down the stairs, popped a bagel in the toaster, and sleepily sat at the table. I pulled the pitcher of water from the fridge and began pouring it into the bottles.

“OH MY GOSH!” J exclaimed, startling us all. “Why is it so cold out?!”

Why the alarm? I wondered. Not registering that I had already checked the temperature, I looked at the windowsill. The thermometer read -17°. My mind ticked back through its stash of morning snapshots. Confusion tugged at the edges of my memory. It wasn’t that cold a few minutes ago. Was it? Had it really dropped so fast? What was going on? All of these thoughts slipped through my mind, one after the other, like a deck of cards being shuffled.

Overhearing the conversation, W came in to the kitchen from the living room. “I suppose I should change that back to Fahrenheit, huh?” he said. He picked up the thermometer and pressed the Celsius/Fahrenheit toggle button. He ducked his head to hide the mischief evident in his satisfied smirk as he made a quick retreat to the other room.

Yes, we always have to be on our toes in my house. You just never know who is up to mischief!

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