it was so cold that…

On most days, I do not dispute a word that comes from my big sister Marilyn’s mouth. For if the text I’ve typed countless times for investment firms is true—that “the best predictor of future performance is past performance”—this woman is a big-time truth-teller.

But when I told her I’d clicked the pic above, she laughed at me. Cold, but not that cold, was her response. Probably right. After all, she and her husband Bob are veterans of more than four dozen Fort Dodge winters. They would know.

 However, sitting there late Monday afternoon in the McDonald’s parking log, watching –18F flash along with BOGO offers for vitamins and athlete’s foot meds, I was a believer in below-zero. I was there because our Mom’s apartment is in a renovated hospital with foot-thick reinforced walls that shield wi-fi signals from meeting my MacBook. And yes, I have called all possible providers, hearing you’re about 1500 feet from a hot-spot from some very nice Iowans.

But back to the cold.

What Marilyn couldn’t give me in thermometer cred, she was more than happy to trade out in remember whens:

  • When we wore jeans under our skirts because school dress codes didn’t permit slacks?
  • When we willingly bundled up to watch baby lambs and calves arriving?
  • When we knew at least one kid each season would take the dare and touch his/her tongue to cold metal?
  • When the school bus ride meant freezing and roasting after waiting and worrying?
  • When soggy wool mittens drying on radiators scented the grade-school rooms in Eau de Sheep?
  • When those same mittens didn’t quite sync with your parka sleeves, leaving your wrists raw?
  • When we ventured to the barn during milking time and watched the steam rise off the Holsteins?
  • When away-trips during basketball season meant stepping sleepily off SCHS buses, only to be instantly awake in the crystal-cold night air?
  • When we’d join other friends for stellar sledding parties on Leck Tuttle’s farm, where the hills were high, the ride down fast, and the cold of no consequence, whatsoever.

I’d love to know:  when you think of cold weather as a kid, what memory comes to mind?

P.S. Some of that truth-telling must have rubbed off, for I’ve driven to/by this same Walgreens sign several times and the temp doesn’t change. Yeah, what I’m thinking:  FROZEN. 😉


7 Responses to “it was so cold that…”

  1. Ike Snook didn’t work!!

  2. Remembrance’s of the winters of my youth. The smell of sulfur in the air as every house in Seymour burned coal. Black soot on fresh white snow. The crunch of frozen snow under my 4 buckle overshoes. The excitement of sledding down the Winston Street hill after an ice storm. The runny noses of ALL of us as we played outside for hours only to be too tired when we returned home to help our dads shovel out the driveways. Snow ice cream was a treat until the atomic testing scared my mother into thinking the fall out content was high enough in the snow to cause instant cancer.

    As I got older, driving around Seymour, spinning cars around on the snow, helping push cars out of drifts, and the warmth of Wayne’s Cafe as I ate french fries from a paper boat while listening to the latest Beatles release on the juke box. Watching the sun set while the temp. dropped, going home and taking a bucket of clinkers out to the driveway and returning it to the basement before supper. Watching those ever popular westerns on t.v., then crawling into a warm bed with an electric blanket in a very cold bedroom. Falling asleep with only my nose sticking out from under the covers…..

  3. I remember the local radio station diverting water from the Wind River to create a skating pond in winter. No facilities, no refreshments, just quick trips to the car for a warm-up. (Our parents assured us they were staying in the car with the engine running so it would be warm for us.) We got so cold we couldn’t bear to be outside one second longer, but skating was so wonderful we couldn’t bear to give up and go home until it got dark.

  4. I remember one sled riding day. Some of the Sewal kids decided it sounded like a good idea. However, I wasn’t a good sled driver. I ended up in the ditch next to a fence…..with my face all scratched. Was a bit embarrassing to have to go to school the next day like that.

  5. I remember going to your folks old house- it was cold- we were hunting around
    Promise City. We slept upstairs one night in the old farm house- it was so cold-
    from then on your Mom let us sleep on the floor of the living room, nice and
    warm. Good times. Your parents were so Great to us.

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