Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Remember Winter?

I remember last winter...freezing my youknow off at the shop, and trying to conjure the heat of a day like today.  Today, I was thinking of January, and long johns and fingerless gloves and that vest my girls don't like to see me wear and my Bob Cratchit impression...but it didn't do any good.  It was still hot as hell in there.

I started thinking back...all the way to England, and a time period when little girls wore short dresses no matter the weather, cars didn't have heaters, and it always rained on Guy Fawkes Day.  How about the day my mother locked me out in the back yard when I decided that five minutes out in the snow was enough, thank you very much. 

I remember walking home from St Ann's school at maybe nine or ten, in the middle of a blizzard, wearing my galoshes and carrying my shoes (it's a long story and it will bore you to tears, so don't ask).  Western Canada, though not as cold as the rest of the country, still had its bitter days. I do recall in high school, running my usual three miles when the temperature (they had not yet invented Wind Chill) was 10° F. That hurt.

There was that one memorable winter I spent in Toronto, where people try not to come above ground.  There were whole little underground centers at the subway could get all your shopping done between trains.  Above ground...well, my bangs broke one day, having got wet and frozen solid.  And feeling the hairs in my nose crystallize--not something I'd care to repeat.

There was one winter in Gary Indiana that about killed me.  I was staying with SSS and his parents, and his mom liked to keep the house at around 80, and Mother Nature liked the outside at about 20 below zero, and my poor self couldn't adjust.

Winter in Chicago...most memorably, frightening a man in the park.  It was really cold, but sunny and had snowed the night before.  SSS and I were done up in similar "snorkel" parkas, mirrored sunglasses and boots.  The guy had come up to us to ask the time, or something, and we both turned toward him.  He looked from one of us to the other, and ran off.  We laughed ourselves into snow angels.

I remember one winter here in Round Rock, when Brushy Creek froze about halfway across.  No, I mean really froze.  People were sliding around on it, under the bridge on North Mays.  Back in the mid 1980s, I think.  Wonderful times, sliding down the hill by the theater, using anything that came to hand for improvised sleds...socks for gloves and baggies over the kids' tennies.

Or the time we hustled out in the morning after a snow, just to get a look at it before it melted.  A few houses down the street, the good citizen had scraped the inch or so of snow off his driveway--with an actual snow shovel!  I mean...who does that?

A few months from now, feel free to remind me about this fiercely hot summer.

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