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. 😉