Five Life-Lessons the Polar Vortex Taught Me

Rochester has been cold. Very cold. The East, it would seem, was sprayed by Mr. Freeze’s Ice Gun. You’ve probably heard about it or have experienced the frigidness yourself. It’s my first East Coast winter and, well, it’s living up to its reputation.

A coworker mentioned (and you never know how true these things are) that, right now, ten minutes of exposed skin will earn you frost bite. I’m not sure what frost bite is, but it sounds delicious. They don’t sell those in California.

Here’s five life-lessons I’ve learned from living through the Polar Vortex, or as I like to call it, “The Unholy Coldy”

1. Cuss Creatively: If caught outside, unique cussing patterns can keep your brain functioning and from freezing over. Some of my favorites from the other day include, Butt-Face-Twinkie-Stealer!; Alabama-Harp-Farter!; and Mr. Bojangles, the Asshole.

2. Park Near the Entrance: I usually park far away; it saves time and I don’t mind walking. However, the other night I parked on the far end of the grocery store’s lot. By the time I reached the store, I had to borrow an ice scraper for all the frozen tear drops on my face.


God Has Never Been to Rochester

“God has never been to Rochester,” said my friend, David. Him and his wife laughed in solidarity; I offered a nervous snicker.

Back in June, Megan and I flew over to search for apartments—at that point, the only people we knew on this side of the continent were these two people who have since left the area due to finishing school; border-lined waifs, we now know no one.

“God has never been to Rochester,” he said. The comment stuck. Sure, he was joking, but it stuck.

Where the hell am I moving to? Where am I taking my wife? These thoughts, until recently even, erupted from the shadows and followed me as such.

I remember driving around, on that same trip, witnessing a worn-down and bruised city. A town, much like Detroit, whose rarefied Kodak Towers have since fallen into the dreck, pulling almost everyone else with it.

Has God ever been to Rochester?

The Answer (It’s Yes)

In the four-ish days we’ve been here, the weather has alternated more than I can keep track: humid, rainy-as-Hell (umbrellas are a must), thunder and lightning, sunny-sky-beautiful.

Right now, it’s nice. The sun is out, a few clouds giving shade.

We attended a church today. YES, I know. Mr. Anti-Church went to church. So sue me (please don’t sue me). It was a Grace PCA church, recommended by Tony from A Way With Words—our only known soul on the East—and it was lovely. The people were wonderful, warm, and genuine.

I even liked the pastor. In our few minutes of conversation, I withheld my personal opinions about how he should find a different job.

Him and his wife were incredibly nice, as was everyone we met, and I think we’re going to go back.

Why am I telling you this? Isn’t it a bit hypocritical to write about changing the modern church, only to dive into its arms first thing?

I suppose you’ve got a point.

Rochester, NY, Baby

My initial worries of the area have since fallen away; I’m falling in love with Rochester. So far, it’s a great town with great people. We live in an area called East Ave (near/or Park Ave). It’s absolutely gorgeous. We ordered pizza the other night, and I almost couldn’t stop eating it.

Does the town still have its issues? Does it still scare me? Does driving here make absolutely no sense? Yes, but I love Rochester’s potential; I love its heart, and every day feels a little bit more like home.


If you’d be willing: 

Continued prayer for friends, jobs, closeness to God, church issues, and cheap furniture.

Your thoughts?