Today is, by all measures, a day from Hell here in the Chicago area. Right now, O’Hare–which is where they do the official measurements–is saying -16 degrees, a record for this date. You guys who live in Northern Michigan or Canada know how to deal with this, but really, we don’t. I’m wearing thermals even now.
This isn’t the coldest I’ve ever been, however. When I was in Indian Princesses with Cara, so 30 some years ago, we went on a January campout at Camp Hastings, up in Round Lake Beach, I think. I got out of the car and carried a box of something down to our cabin. Well, it was cold, no doubt: -23 degrees. But, still, I thought, well this is manageable! Yeah, we’ll have some indoor activities, play some cards, spend time in the lodge. I dropped off the stuff, and started back to the car–
And walked into the wind. Oh, brother. The wind chill dropped the temp down to -56. I’ll never forget that. It was almost impossible to move. So, Randy Knudsen, our nation chief, and the rest of the tribal chiefs met with the camp director, re-scheduled and we all went home. However, an Indian Guides group were staying at Camp Edward (across the lake) and decided to stay. (Macho, macho man: I’ve got to be a Macho man (Village People, ca. 1979)). Their cars froze. As of Wednesday, several of their cars still wouldn’t start and had to be towed in to defrost.
I loved Indian Princesses, which is a great thing. My grandkids are in Awana, and it’s been great for them, as a Christian approach to Building positive relationships with other kids and adults. but Princesses and its male counterpart, Indian guides, were terrific. But I’ll never forget being in twenty-three below zero temperatures.
Do a great job this week.