“Cold” Winter Days

As I sit here in Louisiana while someone is trying to fix the heater in the next room and I am in the kitchen with a heater blowing on me, a beanie on my head, and the oven turned on, I am reminded of much colder winter days in my past and think to myself, ‘this ain’t nothin’.”

One year in college, way out in the True West Texas (not that Amarillo is West Texas crap), it was bitter cold. I know, “it’s nothing compared to Northern Winters” but it was cold for a Texas desert! Several days in a row over the Thanksgiving holiday it got UP to 7 degrees F during the day. I don’t even remember what it got down to at night, but it was bitter cold. Hubby and I were working at a vet clinic outside of town and we were completely booked – everyone was boarding their pets for the holiday. That’s all fine and dandy except a lot of our kennels were outdoors. We had tarps up to keep the wind out, and thick blankets down for the dogs, (and we only kept the biggest dogs with the longest hair outside, but their water bowls kept freezing solid. I would go outside every hour and trade their bowls out with warm water from the faucet. We also had horses at the clinic that week, so I would have to go outside with a rubber mallet and a small blow torch to melt the water, so that the floats wouldn’t break from the water expanding as it froze.

One January there was a beautiful ice storm in the middle of the night. Hubby and I got up that morning, and it was so gorgeous, and we had nowhere to be, so he drove me all over town in his 4×4 truck and we took photos of horses and cows in the snow, and the mountains and trees and barbed wire in wrapped in ice.

(That’s not the sun, that’s the reflection of the flash – the only picture I could find of this was from when I was trying to sell my photos on eBay) (Still for sale, by the way, if you were wondering…)

Another year, also in January, Hubby and I decided to go to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. I think it was New Years Weekend. We camped that night in the campground, and the next morning got up to hike Guadalupe Peak, the tallest mountain in Texas. We had a 5 gallon water jug sitting on the table that was half-frozen when we got up that morning! And of course, there is the infamous 14 Degree Weather from my wildhood.

While we were in Grad School, Hubby worked for NRCS through a grant, and that grant sent him to a conference in Grand Junction, Colorado. All I had to do was pay for my plane ticket, and I was able to tag along! This ALSO happened to be in January. (Come on, we lived there for 6 years! The odds are pretty good that it would be cold in January!) While he was at the conference during the day, I stayed nice and warm in the hotel room. But when he was done, we drove up to the Colorado National Monument. It was absolutely beautiful. Red sandstone, green cedar, and white snow. We hiked and drove as long as we could until it got too dark to see anything. We hardly touched the park, with as little of it as we were able to see. I can’t wait to go back.

So memories like these not only make me think of great stories, but they make me realize that I have been through worse, and I came out a stronger, more capable person because of it.

Not that anyone likes to do anything with their fingers tingling and hurting and numb from the cold….but I know it won’t kill me.

Stay warm out there!

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