There comes a time each year when my patience completely expires. It arrives at different times, but historically I don’t make it more than a couple months into the new year before I exclaim to everyone and anyone who will listen that I am OVER winter.
You would think that after 15 years in the state I would have learned to adapt and relax a bit about my least favorite parts of winter – ice and brutal cold. No sir – not a chance. In fact, I grow less patient with it each year. I especially struggle with the ice, as the older I get the less I bounce when I fall. I don’t want to have the stigma of breaking a hip in the new forty (or any other part for that matter). If I knew all I would do is bruise my fanny and my ego I would be a bit more accepting of the perils of ice; alas, the already ungraceful souls in the world seem destined to accrue bodily injury when given a slippery surface and I am the poster child for the ungraceful souls..
My walking speed in areas where there is ice is reduced by about 75%. There are 90 year old men and women who could lap me multiple times before I get to where I am going. I creep along gingerly with an appropriate level of apprehension for my ineptitude on ice. It is truly a sad and pitiful sight to see, but after having slipped on the ice over a decade ago and getting a concussion I make no apologies for my pace. I travel at the speed I am comfortable with and try and focus all my attention on getting from point A to point B upright.
As for the cold – well now, I have gotten a thicker skin over the years to be sure. Unfortunately, once the temperatures drop with windchill into the -30 to -50 range, I don’t care how thick your skin is – stuff starts freezing. I have been increasingly attuned to the dangers of the cold since I have been at NDSU as I know folks (especially students) have to traverse the campus outside in the elements. This concerns me tremendously. I worry that someone will suffer health consequences from exposure. My greatest fear is that someone will slip on ice, hit their head and freeze to death in an area of campus not heavily trafficked in-between classes. Yes, I think about those kind of things. And this time of year, I think about them an awful lot. Hence, my patience for winter has expired.
I am done with winter for the year. It is time for it to be over. I am tired of seeing Mother Nature torture so many nice folks with her cold shoulder routine. Walking or driving around campus all you see are unhappy folks trying to get inside as quickly as possible. You can imagine their disdain when they end up behind me on the sidewalk. It is a wonder I have not been pushed into a nearby snowbank.
Be awfully careful out there folks – wherever you may be travelling. These cold temps are nothing to fool around with. Don’t go out without wearing proper attire head to toe. You never know where or when you may find yourself stuck outside in the elements and in temps like we have been having a mere ten minutes could result in frostbite. Better safe than sorry, plus you will need your fingers – at least that middle one – if Mother Nature drags on winter much longer you can join me in giving that old broad the finger.
Day one thousand three hundred and twenty-four of the new forty – obla di obla da