How cold is cold?

It stopped snowing a little after 8 last night and I immediately started pulling on my boots to head out to shovel.
The look on my wife’s face told me what she was thinking.
“I’d rather do this in the dark when it’s 28 degrees,” I said, “than tomorrow morning when it’s only 8.”
She understood.
To be honest, if I try to imagine what 8 degrees feels like I cannot. So I play a little game in my head. I say to myself 8 degrees is 20 degrees colder than 28. So to grasp the difference 20 degrees can make, I say, well, I know the difference between 60 degrees and 80 degrees. I wouldn’t even dream of jumping in the ocean when it’s 60 degrees outside. But when it’s 80?
I’m doing the same right now after hearing the wind chill may make it 70 degrees below zero in Minnesota today.
I can’t fathom 70 degrees below zero. But I do know the difference in the other direction. I know what 70 degrees above zero feels like. In many ways it feels just about perfect.
Then I say to myself, 70-below is 140 degrees different from 70 above.
It’s a chilling thought, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Ed Ackerman