copy20of20okemot20snowed20in

I read a short story in the Christian Science Monitor by Diane Cameron about her experiences in dealing with the winter.

I never enjoyed cold weather but I could tolerate it until I started driving.  The worst part of winter for me wasn’t the freezing temperatures and snow, but driving in them.  Now that I am retired I can just sit back in my chair and look at the beautiful white blanket of snow outside, and watch all my poor neighbors cursing and swearing while they dig out their cars for the long ride to work.  I have learned not to wave out at them from my window, at least not after they piled all their snow on my car turning it into a carsicle.

At my grandfathers house in Maine the second story windows were designed to sever as doors.  When the snow reached past the first story they could use the second story windows as doors to get outside.

My worst winter driving experience was when I drove home from Newark, NJ, back to Connecticut in a snow storm.  Newark, NJ, is not a place you want to spend the night in.  They let me leave early, 3:00 pm I think, and I got home about seven hours later.  They closed the highway in NJ shortly after I got past it. It was loads of fun driving over the Tappen Zee Bridge when the only thing you can see in front of you was two dots of red from the tail lights of the car in front of you, somewhere.  My knuckles, griping the steering wheel, were whiter than the snow outside.

How much do you enjoy, or hate the winter.  Papa no fair talking about your nice comfortable winter home in Florida.

What was your worse winter experience?

From the article – http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/1212/p09s02-coop.html 

“I wake in the night and listen. The reassuring rumble tells me that the furnace is still on. It’s good news and bad. It means we have heat and there’s still oil, but it might just as well be dollar bills that I’m burning.

I don’t fall back to sleep easily. My fear of cold has an ancient echo. I listen for the furnace at night the way my Polish ancestors woke in their huts to check on the fire. We’re told that global warming is a threat, but it’s a danger I’d settle for on days like this.”

“Temperature is part of my own married romance. Coming to New York from Baltimore – where there is just one decent snowstorm each year – I, too, was set down on a new hearth.

My husband, Peter, comes from northern Ontario, where winter runs from September to May and wind chill is scoffed at. “When Canadians have 30 below, they mean it,” he says. “Wind chill is for wimps.”

So to marry this tundra man I had to learn to dress for serious cold. To get me from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to Albany’s frozen Hudson, Peter plied me with jackets and sweaters, scarves and gloves, even a hat with earflaps. The gift of Sorel boots – toasty at Canada’s 30 below, was a sign we were getting serious.

That first winter together, living in upstate New York, I thought I’d die. My boots were good below freezing, but my fingers could barely tie them. Physical acclimation is real, but it came slowly. Each year gets a bit easier. Now I complain about the cold, but no longer imagine myself as part of the Donner party.”

“But having a warm house is important. I can’t swear that my first marriage ended solely over the thermostat setting, but for years I never went on a second date with a man whose response to my “I’m cold,” was, “Put on a sweater.” Now I’m married to a man who knows that cold hands do not mean a warm heart, and that a big oil bill is better than roses. But surprisingly, I’ve grown, too. I am willing, in this new life and climate, to go look for that cost-saving sweater.”

The word comfortable did not originally refer to being contented. Its Latin root, confortare, means to strengthen. Hence its use in theology: The Holy Spirit is Comforter; not to make us comfy, but to make us strong. This then is our task. We may not be warm but we are indeed comforted; we are strong and we are looking for the sweaters.”

Advertisements