First freeze of the seasonPosted on October 1, 2023
Everyone remembers the first freeze of the season. Waking up, drinking the coffee that feels just a little warmer than usual and watching the news. You sit through the story about the local animal shelter having their annual adoption weekend as you wait for the weather to come up. When it finally shows it's telling you things you already knew but hoped weren't true, it's cold.
You finish your coffee and go to the closet to get your heavy coat, the one you haven't worn since the last freeze. It's pushed to the back behind your nice jacket you haven't worn since that funeral. You take it out, dust it off and put your arms through the sleeves. You reach in the pocket and find a special surprise. A crisp twenty dollar bill. That was an old trick your grandpa, your mother's dad, taught you
"When it starts to get warm," he'd say with a strange compassion coming through his usual gruff tone. "When it starts to get warm, put some money in your heavy coat. That way when it gets cold again, instead of being cranky and upset at the weather you'll be happy to have a dollar in your pocket."
You smile, looking at the bill as you pull your wallet out with the other hand. You put the money away and get ready to walk outside. Jacket's zipped, gloves are ready, and you're just about to walk out the door when you remember your coffee. Most days it just helps you get over the slag of the morning but today it's going to pull double duty. You stand at the threshold of the door thinking about what's on the other side.
"It's just a little cold," you tell yourself. "I don't complain when I get cut, caught, snagged or worse."
The first cold spell hits different though. You feel it in your bones.
You try not to think about it as you open the door and step outside. A deep breath brings little clouds out of your mouth. When you're young it's fun to see your own breath billowing out of you. Kids will act like they're smoking or see how long they keep the puffs going. As an adult you know it isn't that much fun. When you can see your breath it means there's work to do.
You get in the truck and start to think about what needs to be done. There's water to break up, pipes to check, heat lamps to plug in, the list goes on. Taking a sip of your coffee you turn on the radio. The updated forecast just came through, "We can expect the temperatures to keep dropping over the next few days with lows well below freezing."
You're going to need more coffee.
- Lance Standford
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