Just for the record, it's minus-4 here right now (minus-8 a little earlier) and temperatures are expected to soar to 22 later in the day, a veritable heat wave, but blowing snow is in the forecast, too. Elsewhere, the big news is occurring in the Northeast, where up to 20 inches of snow have fallen in New England and "brutal" --- however you define that --- temperatures are predicted.
Every new year needs a symbol, as the Chinese have known for millennia, so I'm thinking 2014 could be the Year of the Weather Map.
Look at this morning's --- from the bright orange blizzard warning blanketing much of North Dakota, bordered by winter weather advisories; wind chill warnings across much of Minnesota and Wisconsin; then wind chill advisories and more warnings filling the gap until reaching the Northeast's storm warnings on land and gale warnings off the Atlantic coast.
The weather always used to be a safe topic of conversation, even when we couldn't talk about much else in a civilized manner. Now someone's bound to bring up global warming, better expressed perhaps as climate change, giving us an opportunity to squabble about that, too.
I have fond memories of a Tet celebrated in Saigon; others, in Vietnam during the 1968 offensive, not so much. There's no reason why we can't celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Horse here, too. Heaven knows there are enough of those critters roaming around in the hills.
Since Sunday is 12th Night, or the official end of the Christmas season, we could celebrate that too, as some do; and Epiphany as well.
Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, long associated with romance although multiple Valentines confuse its martyrology, should tide us over until Mardi Gras, which comes rather late this year, on March 4.
Plenty of cause for celebration.
Speaking of causes for celebration, the Charitone as expected received its certificate of occupancy as the old year ended and tenants have started to move in. Ruth has posted a photo of an early mover here. And they said, it couldn't be done .... Several times. But it could, and was.