“Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer we’d have frozen to death.”

Yesterday, my plans worked out perfectly. I didn’t get dressed, I took a nap and I read. Even Gracie spent most of her time inside on the couch curled up on her afghan. Her few trips outside were mission oriented and quick: a run down the deck stairs, a squat and a run back into the house.

Winter days like today remind me of when I was a kid and felt perpetually cold walking to and from school every day. Staying home, despite snow or frigid weather, wasn’t an option unless I had the plague. We walked to  and from school no matter rain nor snow nor dead of night, okay, maybe not that last one as I might be exaggerating just a bit. The worst days were on rainy days in winter when it was cold. We’d get soaked and so freezing we’d actually look forward to getting to school where it was dry. My school had tall radiators which hissed steam. They were on the side near the windows and in the back of the room, but we seldom noticed them beyond the first few days after the heat was turned on for the winter. It was like white noise. The ceilings in the old school were so high that it usually took a while for the room to be really warm so most of us wore sweaters over our uniforms.

On the windiest winter mornings, I froze the whole walk to school despite the layers my mother had piled on me. Because the wind was bitterly cold and in our faces, my friends and I would hold hands and walk backwards away from the wind. When we arrived at school, our cheeks were sometimes so red they were sore, and our fingers were numb despite our mittens. The cloak rooms would be bursting with bulky coats hanging off hooks, and you couldn’t walk through without knocking someone’s coat on the floor. My hat and mittens were up my sleeves for safe keeping. I didn’t mind missing recess on those cold, rainy days.

When I’d get home wet and cold, I’d change right away. That was when I first learned cozy.

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6 Comments on ““Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer we’d have frozen to death.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Ah the smell of wet wool in the morning. 🙂

    I remember all of those cold morning walks to school. I remember complaining and having my father give me the old “I walked to school barefoot, in hip deep snow, uphill, both ways.”
    Walking home, barelegged, in a stinging ice storm is not my idea of a fun time. Neither is falling into the partly frozen brook and getting thoroughly soaked. I really appreciated the concept of warm and dry those times. 🙂

    I did a lot of sloth yesterday, too. Even Rocky spent his day sleeping in the sunny chair on the glassed-in porch. It’s very warm out there on sunny winter days. If Rocky didn’t hog the sunny chair, I might spend the day out there myself. 🙂
    It’s very windy up here so it feels much colder than it is and it’s not sunny so no sun warmed chair today. We’ll both curl up on the couch.
    Enjoy the day.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I forgot about that! I’m guessing selective memory!

      My mother bought me just above the knee length underwear which was supposed to help and did a bit, but I still froze. My legs were also really red by the time I got home. I had to pass a field where the wind whipped across in steppe proportions.

      Today is warm, and most of the snow has melted. I have a steady stream of drops off the roof, and it was just wet, not cold, filling the feeders.

      You too enjoy the day!!

  2. olof1 Says:

    We never reached -22 last night, “only” -4. Pretty cold that too but there was no wind so the morning was quite nice anyway.

    Wind can either destroy a day or save it 🙂 There’s nothing as bad as a windy winter day, especially if one lives close to the ocean. But a hot day can be awful if there’s no wind. I remember when having my sailing boat, days without any wind was just useless 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I lived very close to school so the weather really didn’t matter when I walked there. But I always sat by the windows and beside the radiators, cold winters they were so hot that I had to keep something between me and the radiuators, otherwise they bu´rned the skin.

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • Kat Says:

      Christer,
      Wow, a heat spell!!

      You’re right: a windy cold day is the worst. The cold gets into your bones and stays there. August is famous here for hot, windless days, but my deck is usually pretty nice even on the hottest day.

      I think it took me about 20 minutes or a bit less to walk to school so weather really mattered. In the spring and fall months the walk was wonderful.

  3. Bob Says:

    Here in North Jersey it has been unseasonably warm except for the night it snowed and sleeted. There are still small piles of dirty snow along the edges of the parking lot. I am sure that next week the highs will be it he 20s and I will be freezing my posterior off.

    Your descriptions of the old school classroom in winter brings back memories of my elementary school days in the New York. I don’t think steam radiators exist in buildings in Texas 🙂

    • Kat Says:

      Bob,
      The same here this winter-warmer than usual. Today was in the mid-40’s though we did get 2 inches of snow the other day.

      Cold weather is definitely on its way-hunker down!

      Nope, I don’t think Texas needs them!


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