"Ready?" I asked, tugging on the edge of my glove as though I could stretch it enough to cover my whole forearm.

"Ready," my friend replied with a nod. She zipped her coat shut with one hand and adjusted her hood with the other before flinging the door wide open. After bracing ourselves against the first blast of frigid air, we raced off toward the Hannaford beneath the light of a Saturday moon.

Despite our residence in a state so far north it shakes hands with Canada, the full weight of a Maine winter still seems to catch Bowdoin by surprise. In a week when snow was heaped in small mountains along the edges of every road and sidewalk, all anyone could seem to talk about was the sudden temperature drop that awaited us on Friday afternoon.

To be completely fair, the drop was an enormous one. With highs in the single digits and lows well below zero, Friday and Saturday saw Brunswick take a page from the North Pole's book and left our community less than thrilled about the concept of stepping past their thresholds. My friend and I shared that sentiment, and had determined the best course of action to be arranging a small Super Snack of our own in the comfort of her dorm room, keeping well away from the second bone-chilling night setting in over town.

To supply ourselves with snacks super enough to be worthy of the title, we intended to make use of the Bowdoin Shuttle for what we thought would be a quick trip to and from the grocery store. It seemed, however, that we weren't alone in our transportation plans, and after twenty minutes of waiting on a ride that was in higher demand than your favorite pop star, hope vanished, and we resolved to make the trek on foot. As shielded from the elements as we could be (without starting to cook ourselves where we stood), we propelled ourselves with the thought of the future, cozy byproduct of our great mission.

As we marched briskly over frozen paths, I caught sight of Moulton's glowing windows and recalled that not everyone had sworn off the perilous journey to the dining halls. The Swim Team, for one, could think of no better way to celebrate their performance in the day's meet and fortify themselves for an evening of nonstop card games than with a round of Moulton tacos. Even as the wind was blowing in through mouths and sweeping all the warm air out of lungs, the most dedicated supporters of taco night could not be deterred from the dinner of their dreams.

I found strength in their courage as my friend and I powered on through the quad and eventually off the far edge of campus, our numbing feet tripping over themselves at the realization that we were closing in on our destination. When we at last took in the sight of those bright red letters illuminating a half-empty parking lot, we rejoiced, taking up an Olympic speed-walker's pace until we'd propelled ourselves all the way into the first snack aisle we laid eyes on. We soaked in the warmth as we paused for a momentary celebration, and I spared a thought to how utterly relieved I was that our journey, inspiring though it was, had come to an end.

I couldn't imagine walking any further down Maine Street, as many a Bowdoin student did for the chance of earning some highly-discounted gelato. Members of Gelato Fiasco's Red Spoon Society braved the cold with far more zeal than I could muster to make use of the Frozen Code Passcode, earning them 1% off their orders for every degree the temperature below freezing. Though I couldn't take the extra step myself, I can understand what someone might be willing to do for a low-priced cup of Netflix and Chill.

Celebration complete and relief wearing away, I recalled what we had learned about timing in our naïve attempt to take the easy way off campus. Smarter, stronger, and shivering harder than I'd like to be, I made a call to the shuttle early on to raise our chances of meeting it on the other side of our Hannaford hurrah.

Several long minutes of contemplation later, we carried an array of carefully selected quality goods out into the night, fingers crossed tightly as though their strength alone would summon a vehicle. And maybe it did, because we were greeted by the glorious sight of a Bowdoin shuttle ready to carry us home.

Our gracious driver had made many a Hannaford visit already that day, mostly ferrying residents of the more distant Bowdoin dwellings to the store to purchase supplies for breakfasts they couldn't see themselves trudging to the dining halls for. A cozy, private meal with good friends sounded like the perfect way to take on this particularly wintery weather, if we did say so ourselves, and so we eagerly hurried forth from our ride to prepare our very own.

Mackenzie Cooper

One showing of Disney's Tangled later, my friend and I slumped forth with tired minds, full bellies, and happy hearts. Our night had been one of highs and lows, guided by a shared dream of this very moment and the moon's bright, comforting gaze.

Everyone on campus had seemingly taken a different approach to feeding themselves in this weekend of unprecedented cold, whether they stayed close to home or ventured out to where their favorite foods sat waiting for them. Yet no one appeared to have let the weather stop them from finding joy in what they ate or the company they ate in.

I can’t say I'm hoping for these sub-zero surprises every other weekend, but the special pleasure of a meal I took on a world of ice and wind for isn't something I plan to take for granted.