Written during the arctic vortex

Right now, the outside temperature is 5 degrees; the wind is west at 22 mph, and the skies are clear at daybreak.
There is frost on the window in my kitchen, which reminds me of a Norman Rockwell painting, and the heat from my furnace makes me wish I could stay home today.

I can hear the heavy breeze gusting through my yard and whipping against the side of my house. And armed with nothing more than a cup of coffee, I attempt to brave through this day and head out into something they used to call winter….

First, I stepped outside to warm my car. I turned the ignition, and set the heat. I put the heated seats on, and then I returned through my front door and into the warmth of my home.

At work, days like this one are never easy. My responsibilities are focused on the cooling and heating in a commercial office building. And yes, I still deal with cooling……..even on days when the real-feel temperature is -10 degrees.
Completed in the 1927, the building I work in is more than 1.5 million sq/ft. It is a pre-depression building, which means the windows are operable. Before the depression, windows in hi-rise commercial office buildings opened and closed. But that changed after the depression hit.

The building has 30 floors, plus the penthouse. Most have multiple tenants, but some are single tenant floors, which means the temperature complaints between hot and cold are constant, and they come from different parts of the building.

When I arrive at work today, I will already know where the problem spots are. I know which tenants will complain about what, and I know who will be using an electric heater and wondering why their electrical circuit trips and they lose power.

I sometimes compare my position at work to a bad marriage. It is hard to make the difficult tenants happy; anything I say is wrong, and no matter how I address the tenant, if I speak, it will only escalate into an argument.

In all fairness, I understand.
As it is, no one wants to be at work, let alone, be at work and feel uncomfortable with the temperature.
No one wants to be tied to a desk, or held to a deadline, and have their supervisor lurking behind them.
But this is life, I say
This is what I do (for now) and what I do keeps a roof over my head and food in my stomach.

I suppose, I could do the same thing in another part of the country. Currently, the temperature in Ft. Lauderdale is 50 degrees and heading up to 68. The local forecast calls for a mix of clouds and rain, but that doesn’t bother me.
One of my best memories in Florida is fishing in the rain on a pier at Deerfield Beach.

On cold days like this, I think of places I have never been to and wonder what it might be like to live there.
For example, I never dug my toes in the sand of say, the beaches in California. I’ve never been to San Francisco, San Diego, or Los Angeles.
I wonder if any of those places ever felt the temperature of 5 degrees with a wind chill of-10…..

armed with nothing but my trusty cup of coffee, I wipe the excess of dreams from my face, and get ready for another day …..

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