As a kid, I can remember making a face at an adult and the person saying, “You better hope that your face doesn’t freeze like that,” and I believe that it might just have happened on a morning like this. I was out shoveling the driveway today. At first, the temperature didn’t feel bad. The wind was almost non-existent, but then, the cold actually attacked with bitter, stinging fingers. My cheeks began to burn, the bald spot on top of my head began to tingle, and my one arthritic little finger began to ache.
Half of the driveway is cleaned out and I will do the rest, the deepest part, later after my pinky finger becomes less aching. Hopefully the temperature will rise a bit too. On the weather channel, it advertises, that it is minus 8 degrees. It is supposed to go up to eleven degrees by noon, almost bikini weather.
I can remember as a kid, we would walk the one hundred yards to the unheated bus shanty to wait for the bus. Bundled and bulky, booted and gloved we marched out into the elements. Cold temperatures were hardships that we were to endure without whining and complaining. As kids, we were expected to go to school and to study.
I understand that things are different now. Pedophiles were either less prevalent or less bold, than they are at present and it is reasonable for the school systems to be extra cautious with our children. They are an innocent and precious commodity. They are our future. If their present is tainted, it affects our future.
I can remember standing just inside of the open doorway of the bus stop and watch my breath curl away in billowing clouds. I pretended to smoke. It was the glamorous persona that the Hollywood stars on television portrayed. It was a time when the G.I.s was returning from the war and many learned to smoke. Cigarettes were low cost and the thoughts of health problems were only a far distant image. Three packs of candy cigarettes were still sold without any thoughts of repercussion.
Often I would have to clamber over a mountain of snow to enter the bus shack. Repeated plowing of the road turned the Appalachians into the Rockies. Keeping an eye out for the approaching bus, it was almost necessary to have time to surmount the snowy peak to alert the driver to stop.
Brakes screeched and the bus door squeaked open, a warm and waiting maw to welcome me inside to thaw during the fifteen minute bus ride to school.