Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Florida Keeps Looking Better

When I was young, active and had good circulation, cold weather didn’t bother me much. I remember one breezy 10 degree day when I found a sheltered spot in the pine woods and began sawing and splitting a dead pine into firewood. My jacket came off before I even started. After a couple minutes, so did my toboggan. As the sweat trickled down my face and ears, it froze in my beard and mustache. Soon, my flannel shirt came off. Not much later, so did my T-shirt. There I was in 10 degree weather, splitting firewood without a shirt, with sweat frozen in my facial hair, but perfectly comfortable. Once I stopped splitting and loading, though, it was surprising how quickly I put that clothing back on!

These days, I still don’t get as cold as most folks. Carrying twice the weight required for a human body can do that to you. Still, I’m not as warm-blooded as I used to be, and my fingers and toes get cold a lot faster than they once did.

We had snow and cold yesterday, and the bosses sent most of us home after two hours of no orders. We never even started our trucks. They had us go in a half-hour later today, and I started my truck, mostly hoping that any residual heat might make it easier to start tomorrow. It was 16 degrees at the shop this morning and, since it has no block heater, I don’t believe my truck would have started if I hadn’t given it a hefty dose of starting fluid before I started cranking the engine. Most of us were once again sent home after a couple hours. Tonight, it’s supposed to get down to five degrees, but I have to take my CDL physical first thing, so it may be a little warmer than that by the time I get to the shop.

Normally, the guys ask me if I don’t have a jacket. I always tell them that I have one in the truck, in case it turns cold. The last couple mornings, they didn’t have to ask, because I was wearing it. Needless to say, I got a little teasing about it.

It may be the cold that has made my truck quit entering four-wheel drive mode. Ya gotta love computerized stuff, NOT! Even when I turn the switch back to the two-wheel position the little light keeps saying that it’s in 4WD, even though it isn’t. Since that light is on, my anti-skid brakes don’t work, which is no big deal to me, since I already know how to drive, but the idea is aggravating. Unfortunately, with short pay, I can’t really afford to have the problem fixed right now. So, I can no longer count on 4WD to get me to town and back, meaning that I may have to resort to running chains (which I have, thankfully).

Also, it’s been windy the last couple days; wind-chill may be at -15 degrees in the morning. That makes my drafty hilltop house a bit hard to keep warm. Despite all the beautiful photos of the place (I’ve never been there), I’ve never had the slightest desire to live there. It may have something to do with summer heat, high crime rate compared to here, hurricanes, mosquitoes, palmetto bugs and dinky deer. Anymore, though, I’m thinking that the life of a snowbird might be the way to go. I could always go fishing! © 2015


Mamahen said...

Oh I hear you....nights like this I wonder why it is I stay here.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

Supposed to get cold here tonight, I can imagine trying to get those trucks started early in the morning.
Too bad I have to work as the mud will be frozen to where I can get the truck into where the firewood is.

M. Silvius said...

Did you try putting the truck in reverse see if it disengages the 4wd? Sometimes that is all it takes. If its a Dodge the mechanism is pneumatically driven from manifold vacuum and you could have frost in the tiny 1/8th inch lines or they could have split or come off their fittings. Happened to me often in an old Dakota.

Ralph Goff said...

I think I'd rather hibernate than spend the winter in Florida. At least you have some insulation from the cold, unlike me. I have to add many layers of clothing to survive here. As long as I keep active outside I can keep the blood flowing to my hands and actually warm up (most of the time). Not my feet though. At -25 its getting hard to stay warm some days.

Gorges Smythe said...

I talk big, Mh, but I doubt if I could ever leave these hills.

We counted on that frozen ground to get a lot of places when we sold firewood, SF. We could cut slabs in the mill-yard after lunch.

I tried that, Michael, but it didn't work. I'm curious to see if it works the next time that it gets above freezing.

They make electric socks, you know, Ralph! lol

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

It was minus windchills here last night so we put the wild cats in the garage. One hates it but it was just too cold outside. I stopped at Dollar General and got two very cheap cat beds for them. The other one always sleeps there and has claimed the top of the lawn tractor as her bed. It's topped with a flannel lined raincoat that is fluffed up for her. Keep warm!

Gorges Smythe said...

It's four below here this morning, with a windchill of -18. Kathy, those catsb are lucky to have someone looking out for them.

Chickenmom said...

I know just how you feel about the darn cold! Was brutal here last night!

Mary Ann said...

Cold here too... you be careful out there!

Gorges Smythe said...

Same here that night, Cm!

Thanks, you too, Mary Ann!

Angela said...

This year the weather has been absolutely crazy! Two weeks ago my son and husband were wearing shorts outside! It's so cold now that it takes me 10 minutes to bundle up like Ralphie's little brother Randy from Christmas Story just to go to the bus stop to pick up my kids! lol I HATE being too cold, but I also HATE being too hot! I can't seem to find a happy medium.

A good 24 years ago my husband had a job opportunity in Florida. We drove all the way down there to see if we would like living there. We both decided that it was way too far from family, not that we see them that often, but it was just too HOT! I can't remember what month it was we went down there. I'm thinking July or August. I will have to say I wouldn't mind now to live in Florida in the Winter and West Virginia in the Summer. I don't see that happening though! lol