Baby, It’s Cold Outside
I can remember my mom Sybil Miner Beck singing that old song on cold mornings. With the temperature at 0 degrees Fahrenheit and a wind chill of minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s way too cold for me. In my youth school schedules were never delayed, just because it was cold. Only ice and snowy roads cancelled classes. I can remember walking to an unheated wooden bus shanty, huddling inside. At least we were out of the wind as we waited for the long yellow and black behemoth to arrive trailing a plume of steam and fumes. The brakes squealed as it stopped opening its maw. We would hurry to be swallowed by it, joining fellow students for the ride to school happy for the small but welcome warmth inside.
My mom had a quirky trait of singing a chorus of a song when it matched something one of us kids would say. The song always had some tie in with what we had just said. She only did it at home for us, so I’ve always thought that it was special for the family. If she would have tried it in public, people probably would have thought her crazy. I must have thought that it was special, because I picked up her unusual trait and will often sing a few lines from a song, but I have added telling a story or sharing a joke that mimics some word in something that was said. I did this when I supervised at Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania. I’m not sure if anyone thought I should be wearing a straight jacket or not, but most of the time, it did bring a smile. Hopefully, I made a fellow employee’s day go a bit better.
I decided my New Year’s resolution for several years and have been practicing. That promise is “If I am grumpy, I don’t leave home. No one wants to deal with a grumpy old man.” So far, I’ve been able to keep it. It makes people smile when I share my resolution with them. Those who enjoy it the most are the cashiers at stores where I shop. They sometimes will share a horror story of a rude or irate customer.
So, to my friends and readers, I challenge you to adopt the same New Year’s resolution.