Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Gloves, Mittens And Memories

I haven’t been able to get much done this week; between my wife’s unpredictable schedule changes and the cold, I’ve just been sort of coasting along. The morning before last, it was only 25 degrees, but I SWEAR it felt like it was five below. The frost was so thick that it looked like snow.

Yesterday was trash day for us and I’d forgotten to bring my gloves inside from the truck the night before. I’ve got a pair of lined buckskin gloves, which are fairly warm IF they’re warm when I put them on. If they’re cold, though, they sap the warmth right out of my old man fingers with their poor circulation. Remembering a trick from my youth, I put a pair of thin cotton socks over my hands and did my task with warm hands. The trick works for two reasons, first – the socks were already warm, second – they act like mittens and let your fingers warm one another. In fact, they’ll keep your thumbs WARMER than mittens, unless you have the thumbless ones like they use in the arctic.

That’s something you can’t buy in my area is a pair of men’s mittens. I’d love to have a pair of lined buckskin ones like I’ve seen northerners wear, but I’d probably have to order them online, IF they even make them anymore. I think we’re far enough south here that a lot of guys just think it isn’t macho to wear mittens. Wear socks on your hands then, ya dummies! LOL

I know I’ve probably told this in the past, but when I used to work with my dad on the farm, we wore heavy cotton work gloves in the winter. They were pretty warm, unless you got to working in snow, then they’d gradually get soaked through and we’d have to warm and dry them by the fire that we usually built in our work area, as we cut firewood and logs. I remember seeing the steam rise off hot cotton gloves many a time.

 Once in a while though, we’d work somewhere and not build a fire, usually because we thought we wouldn’t be there long enough to be worth the trouble. At those times, if your gloves got soaked, and you had no extras, it could feel like you were going to freeze your fingers off. Back then, I was thinner than Dad, and his hands stayed warmer, so he’d insist on switching gloves. The heat in his gloves soon warmed my fingers right back up, even if HIS gloves were wet, too.

Eventually, my weight picked up (more than it should have) and the circulation in Dad’s fingers went bad due to “white finger” from running a chainsaw all those years. There were a few times then that it was I who insisted that we switch gloves and Dad’s fingers that were warmed by the change. I think that was one of the first indications that the roles were starting to change some in our relationship. I’m sure that they would have changed much more over time if Dad hadn’t passed away too soon.

 I guess there are times that our memories travel back one thought too far. Stay warm, my friends. © 2016


Lady Locust said...

We're cold out here too. One night last week was -5 before windchill. Gloves are sooo important around here. We keep a pair in each rig for emergencies and have a basket inside the back door where we toss our everyday working gloves. Which ones we pull from the basket depends upon the time of year.

Ralph Goff said...

Even here it seems a little harder to find leather mitts available locally compared to years ago. I guess maybe not as many farmers having to spend hours out in the cold chopping wood, ice, forking straw or manure. And when I do find them the price always shocks me. For a real shock just google search "Canada Goose mitts". At that price I'd want a whole wardrobe. They must be good.

Gail said...

Warm hands and warm hearts. A beautiful story of love and respect.

Gorges Smythe said...

Sounds like a good idea, LL.

No, Ralph, there aren't as many working men as there used to be. Our tools, clothes and even food tends more and more to come from some un-named foreign source.

Thanks, Gail.

john3903 said...


If you will send me your mailing address, I will send you a pair of leather chopping mittens with wool inserts

merry Christmas

Gorges Smythe said...

God bless you for the offer, John, but that isn't necessary. I found a couple places online that I can get them. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

deborah harvey said...

if this cooling trend continues you might accept john's kind offer.
just a word to the wise.

Gorges Smythe said...

It WAS a kind offer, dh, and I appreciated it. When things get really miserable anymore, though, I just stay indoors.