Walking in the Cold and Walking in a Hail Storm

I needed my horse and sleigh.

I needed my horse and sleigh.

It has been a cold winter, with record lows.

The  temperature was in the double digits, so I got up from under my flannel sheets, three comforters, a blanket, and quilt and took a walk.  The wind was 20 or 30 miles per hour, and no one was walking except me, but I struggled on to the library.  I decided to thaw out before checking out my books, so I went to the comfortable chairs next to the fireplace…and no fire.

It is a fake fireplace, with an electric fire, and I have sweated next to it in summer.  Now it seemed to be broken.

So I sat in the freezing cold next to a window (all the other seats were taken) and read something.  Then a homeless person sat down next to me.  Although the library is a haven for the homeless, and I want them to stay warm, I like to have a chair or two between us.   (N.B. I can diagnose all my friends’ mental problems from years of watching daytime TV with my mother so that they don’t become homeless.  The medicine is Blue Bunny malt cups or cookies from the Hy-Vee.)

Then I lost a mitten.  I trailed all over the library, looking for my mitten.  “Have you seen a mitten?”  I asked the check-out person.  He had not seen a mitten.  Back to the chair, and the homeless person was gone, but no mitten.  Back to the shelves, and there was my mitten.

I couldn’t have ventured into the cold without two mittens. I would have called a taxi, I don’t have a phone (I don’t believe in cell phones except for the elderly and the disabled), there are no more pay phones, I would have had to use a librarian’s phone, and I needed the exercise.

Walking was easier.

Really cold, though.

AND I WALKED IN A HAIL STORM.  Today I was absorbed in my book, D. J. Taylor’s Kept, and not thinking about walking.  Then I took a break to check my email, and discovered the temperature was 47.  I donned my spring coat and went for a walk.

It didn’t feel like 47.  I figured the temperature was gradually dropping.  Then it became windy, and it was cold, but I decided I was fine.  Then suddenly small pellets of hail were landing on me and all around me.  I WAS WALKING IN A HAIL STORM.

What should I do?  Shelter on someone’s porch?

I walked, and it was damned cold.

My face was frozen.

I was very annoyed, because the weather report had said 0% chance of precipitation.

Suddenly there was my husband in a car.  He had come out looking for me.  I was never so glad to get in a car.   (Thank you!)  He dropped me off before he went to the store to get healthy foods beginning with “c”:  cauliflower, kale (whoops, that’s a k!), carrots, Diet Coca-cola… oops, that last isn’t healthy.

Winter:  Who needs it?

4 thoughts on “Walking in the Cold and Walking in a Hail Storm

  1. I can’t imagine what cold like that feels like. Your dedication to the library visit was quite remarkable. Just think of all those people for whom the library is the only warm place available!


  2. Tom, they need the warmth. You’re right! They used to have an encampment, but you know how it is: they’re always forced to move. Most of the programs are downtown, so they tend to go to that library: it is huge, there is plenty of room for all, and the security guard doesn’t kick them out unless they fall asleep. I could barely walk to the library, so I don’t know how they stand it. Frostbite, hypthermia: who knows what they get? What a sad thing! Somebody should just contribute houses, but I suppose that’s too simple.


  3. It’s been a cold winter. Montreal is unbearable. I’m too lazy to make celsius to farenheit conversions but take -40 degrees and it’s bee fluctuating between that and -30.. it’s a horror. I saw a homeless man walking with a coat but no shirt underneath, coat unbuttoned. Don’t they feel it? When it’s frozen like this, I think about the elderly who are alone and need to venture out to get their groceries or medication. I don’t know how they manage with slippery sidewalks, strong winds and the freezing cold.
    I’m always afraid that the power might go out… oooh. The worst part is that I’m abusing coffee because it’s the only thing that gives me comfort at times like this (and a muffin).


  4. Lusia, I’m sure Canada is much colder! I would not like -30, whether it’s celsius or fahreneheit. “Coffee abuse” isn’t TOO bad in this weather. It is very tiring to be indoors all the time. I’d love to have some chocolate, but fortunately cocoa (practically a health food by my standards) is all we’ve got.


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