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