Monday, December 17, 2012

The Wisdom of Igloos

Yesterday was cold.  Not just chilly.  The temperature was somewhere in the forties – not too cold you might be thinking – but with wind and rain, it was downright raw outside.  The kind of chill that permeates right through your coat and gets down into your bones.  All I thought about half the day was cranking the electric blanket up to 15 and snuggling in for a long winter’s nap.

For some reason, this got me thinking about igloos.  You know, the domed-shaped ice sculpted homes we learned about as kids that were used by the Inuit tribe of Native Americans that lived in the north.  As kids, we used to refer to these people as Eskimos but I’ve since learned that the Inuits find that term offensive.

To me (especially yesterday), an igloo was the absolutely last place on earth I’d want to be.  Wrapped in a structure constructed solely of ice and snow?  No thank you very much.  Given the right circumstances, I’m sure an igloo might look pretty good to me.  I’m just having troubles coming up with what those circumstances might be right now.

A floor of ice.  Walls of ice.  No place to plug in the electric blanket or my iPad.  Good grief!  What were these people thinking?!?

Intellectually, I get why they made sense.  My understanding is that the Inuits used these structures while hunting and fishing in remote locations.  There weren’t many materials to build with and snow and ice were in abundance.  The structures provided shelter from the wind and probably did a better job of trapping in body heat than even the most cold-tested thermal tent might.  The more it snowed outside, the bigger and more insulated the structure would become.  All of that is good.  I get it.  It was practical under the circumstances.

And the more I got to thinking about it, it occurred to me there could be great benefits to living in an igloo.  Great success out hunting caribou this morning?  No need to worry about carting around one of those big heavy coolers (an “Igloo-brand cooler perhaps?).  Your whole place is a freezer, or at least a fridge.  That meat will stay comfortably preserved for days. 

And what if you twisted your ankle while out on the hunt?  Just get yourself back to the igloo and stretch it out.  No need to find one of those blue ice blocks or use one of those sports ice packs that get all icy cold when you squeeze and pop the little chemical ball inside the bag.  Go ahead and ice all of your other limbs while you’re at it.  There’s plenty to go around here at Casa Del Igloo.

Big fan of the snow cone, are you?  You and an igloo would be a match made in heaven.  Tap a tree for some maple syrup to drizzle on top and you are sitting pretty any time you want.

And let’s not forget about frozen drinks.  Margaritas?  Daquiris?  Pina Coladas?  Just fire up that (battery-powered) electric blender and you’ve got yourself one heck of a party.

Maybe those Inuits were on to something.  Next snowfall, I might just have to drag Eve, Rudolph and Holly out into the yard to try building an igloo of our very own.  And the best part of doing it in our own yard?  I could run one of those big orange extension cords out from the house to keep the blender and electric blanket plugged in all night.  Now we’re talking.

Thanks for reading.
--  Frosty

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