Old man winter is showing his face this year. It may not be the coldest winter ever, but I think that it has been colder than it has been in the past few years. Winter has always been hard on me even when I was a kid. I can remember when I was much younger and Dad and I would be riding horseback in the cold. I would put on a stocking hat and gloves and as many layer of clothes I could and still be able to get on my horse. Dad always had a pair of insulated coveralls and his cowboy felt hat. Mom would warm my clothes by the stove for me, so I would have a good warm start along with a nice hot breakfast. Dad and I would get on our horses, which was a jolt to start with as the saddles were not warmed by the fire and when you sit on a cold saddle… if you were not awake by then you would be. We would be riding out in the crisp morning air and the cold would somehow manage to penetrate all of my layers of warmth. It seems that the cold would start at my feet and hands and work its way inward. Toes would get to hurting and the fingers stiff. Dad and I separated and rode a distance apart- other wise he called it ‘one horsin’ it. He would tell me if I was goin’ to ride next to him or directly behind him I might as well go home as I was not accomplishing anything. So I was a ways off from him. When we would get back together he would say that I looked cold. I was not sure where the clue was that I was nearly frozen to death- it could have been- the ice that had formed in my hair along with the ice on the horses eye lashes or my teeth chattering so loud that you could hear me before you saw me or the way that I could hardly move as I was frozen in the saddle (or thought that I was) or the fact that all my blood had settled and froze in my lower extremities. Dad would get the oddest look on his face and ask me if I was as cold as I looked. I would ride next to him and grab his bare hands as he rarely ever wore gloves and he felt hot. It was like the cold weather had no effect on him. I never could understand why he was always so warm. I had thought that maybe it was because he was older- Well, I am older and winter freezes me just as much as it always has. That is not completely true as I do get heat in waves from time to time.
When you hear of a group people freezing to death, I would bet you that the women were the last to go. Unless, of course, they were killed by the others who were getting tired of hearing shivering and then seeing the red face and the sweating and the pulling off the sweaters and jackets then the shivering again. It is a viscous cycle. Well, I hope you all keep warm and remember that spring is getting closer.
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