It's all any one's talking about here in Atlanta: an Arctic air mass has descended upon the Southeast, bringing temperatures down below freezing, with a wind chill factor making it feel even worse.
The poor little furnace in my drafty old house can't keep up with the cold. It ran non-stop all last night and the temperature in the house actually dropped despite its efforts. By this morning, it was 68 degrees inside, and even after running non-stop all day today, the temperature has only gotten up to 70 - and it's going to get even colder outside tonight. I dread my natural-gas bill next month.
The forecast is for this cold air to hang around for the entire week. We typically get icy blasts like this around this time of year, but it doesn't make it any easier to live with. A monk once asked Zen Master Tozan, "How can we avoid hot and cold?"
Tozan said, "Why don't you go somewhere that is neither hot nor cold?"
The monk asked, "Where is a place that is neither hot nor cold?"
Tozan replied, "When it is cold, be completely cold; when it is hot, be completely hot."
It is completely cold tonight.