Posts Tagged ‘cold


Kids today, and not getting them

So, I’m out and about this afternoon, trying to take care of a couple of things before the big Christmas holiday rolls up on us. And as I roll on out to the bank, I see some kid, probably about 13 or so, walking around in a short-sleeved shirt, jeans, and sneakers — and nothing else.

For my out-of-state  readers, it’s ass-freezing cold out today. It was like 3 degrees this morning, and has warmed up to 11. The high is supposed to be 18. (And for any out-of-country visitors, Celsius-wise, those temps are -16 this morning, and currently -11.)

Now, I likes me some cold. Yeah, I know, I’m a freak — but if you’ve been reading my blog, chances are you already know that. This kind of weather is the kind I like to go out and hike in, because the woods are freakishly quiet. But, the difference between me and said teen is this: I put on at least 3 layers, a coat, wool socks and wear goretex boots. I don’t just tramp around in a short-sleeved shirt.

And yet, what perplexes me is that I bet this same kid, in maybe another 2 years, will be wearing a tassel cap year ’round. I see these kids all the time — 80 degrees outside, they have a knit cap on. Working out in the gym? Knit cap is almost like an iPod for the “mandatory accessory” category, especially when doing cardio.

The only time they don’t seem to wear them is when, you know, it’s cold outside, and it would actually be practical.

I don’t know. The more I think I know, the more the world baffles me. I think I’ll just shut up and make some meatloaf, and hope that Darwinism will wake from its slumber and retake the world.


The weather may be frightful…

So, we’re allegedly gonna get some snow tonight, and I, for one, am smiling like a fool.

Now, I know there will be some pain-in-the-assery on my way in to work tonight. Someone is bound to be white-knuckling on his/her steering wheel, driving 15 mph, because they saw 1 flake of snow. And invariably, I will be stuck behind them. But you know, I’m still gonna be grinning like Hines Ward after a great catch.

The reason is because I love the cold and snow. I know this is contrary to most people, but I have so many great memories of the cold and winter that I look forward to its arrival every year.

I can still remember the first time I could see my breath because it was that cold outside. I was in 4th grade, and mom had moved us to live with my grandma in West Vandergrift. I remember grandma coming in the house, feeling the blast of cold that I had never known before. And she said, “Hey Buck, it’s cold enough to see your breath outside!” There was no way this was possible in my mind, so before you know it, I was outside, in my pajamas, constantly exhaling to watch where my breath would go — and despite my shivering, I kept thinking that that was the single neatest thing I had ever seen in my life.

The cold also meant a shift in our dining habits. Instead of cereal in the morning, grandma would wake us up (the shrillness of her shriek up the steps worked better than any alarm clock), and give us hot cocoa and peanut butter on toast. No, we weren’t living high on the hog by any means — it was the late 70s/early 80s, the steel mills were closing and nobody was really in a good spot financially — but to this day, that combo brings me back a sense of comfort, no matter how bad the weather is outside.

Grandma would also make all kinds of great stuff — stews, cookies, pasta, chili, soups, meatloaf, etc. — not that she wouldn’t make them during the warmer months, but the aromas were just stronger because all the windows and doors were shut. I can still hear her horrible off-key humming and singing — “Tiny Bubbles” was by far the worst — but I never seemed to mind because that was her being who she was.

The first time I ever saw a deer (that was alive) was when it was cold. They used to come into grandma’s lawn in the early morning, and my sister and I would look out of the big kitchen window and stare in amazement at them. The deer and the rabbits. To this day, any time I’m out hiking or biking and I stumble upon a deer, I always stop to watch them — because even if it’s for just a brief second, I’m a kid again.

So times change — grandma’s now gone, some other family lives in that nifty little house, and my sister and I have our own homes. But nothing brings me back to those days like feeling the cold on my face, watching my breath drift into the wind and sitting under afghans with the smell of something good cooking drifting out of the kitchen.

Everything is calm.

It’s quiet.

It’s home.

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