Friday, February 20, 2015

Record Breaking Cold
It was minus nine degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill factor of minus twenty-two. I waited until ten a.m. to go outside to clean the driveway and to haul in wood. The sun was shining by then and the temperature had risen to a wonderful minus two degrees.
I climbed into layers of the warmest clothing that I owned. I have a pair of long johns that are synthetic and made for skiers. Over top of them I slipped on a pair of the red and black plaid, Woolrich wool hunting pants. On my torso, I wore a T shirt, a thick sweat shirt that was sent to me by a friend from Indiana, and my dad’s hunting jacket. A black and white scarf wrapped around my neck and I topped my head with ear-warmers and a pull down ski cap. I was ready.
Taking a pair of gloves from the hot air vents in the basement, I took a wheel barrow and a shovel and walked out into a bright sunny day. I took a pair of sunglasses from my car and began the task of tossing out the snow in my drive.
Snow white lava bed
Pushed into my driveway by
Unrelenting plows.
My mind began to write as I tackled the jumble of snow the filled my drive from side to side. Snow was under my car and packed into the wheels from the snow plows. Slowly I worked my way to the road, tossing snow to the side. When I reached the highway, I carried the shovels filled with snow across the road. I had to be careful. The road surface was as slippery as my drive had been, when I fell.
The way the wind blows, if I toss the snow on my side of the roadway, the wind causes higher drifts to form and that snow ends up in my drive when the plows return. I carry it across the road to prevent larger drifts.
Under feet, snow squeaks.
Wind numbs fingers, toes, and cheeks.
The cold lasts for weeks.
I started to feel overdressed and warm. I stopped after three quarters of the snow was removed. I was afraid if I cleaned out in front of my car, I might be tempted to drive. I can’t do that until I am released by my doctor in March due to a head injury.
I still had wood to haul in for the wood burner. By the time I was finished with two loads, I was beginning to perspire. Even my fingers were warm and they were one of the first things that usually got cold. I didn’t overdo, so I must have overdressed.

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