July 20th, 2019

It’s a Tad Chilly for Me

By G. E. Shuman

So, recently my brother Steve, who lives in Florida and I were having a bit of a ‘climate’ contest, which went on for a few days. The contest went like this. Steve would text me a picture of his outdoor thermometer, and I would answer back with a picture of mine. Or, he would text with a comment on the weather down there, and I would answer with one about how things were here. One of Steve’s pics was accompanied by a note of “I think I can… I think I can…” as the needle slowly climbed to fifty degrees. (I love my brother, I just hate his thermometer.)

In reality, my brother doesn’t brag, and seemed very concerned for us when I sent the picture of our weather situation with the big numerals showing -20 degrees. Yes, if you don’t live around here, that was MINUS twenty degrees. What fun.

Our texting soon stopped, and I had to go outside and try to start up my stupid snow blower anyway. Steve likely went out to check on his posies or something. I suppose I need to watch my adjectives. There really can’t be anything particularly stupid about a snow blower. I like mine because it works, and I hate it because it only works if I’m out there with it, like it gets lonely or something. Maybe that’s the part that’s stupid. We have remote controls for everything in our country, from turning on the AC in the summer to starting the car in the winter. And Elon Musk can land a rocket back on the launch pad without even touching it. (Oh yes, that’s also in Florida.) Still, why can’t my snow blower simply run itself up and down the driveway without me? I would be happy to watch it from the kitchen window. (There is no justice, other than in the picture my daughter just sent me of a snow-covered palm tree.)

Those of us up here in the Arctic reaches of New England all know it has been just a tad chilly of late. Yes, we are supposed to be tough up here, and yes, I still see delivery people wearing shorts, even as their knees are probably knocking together, but, personally, I’m getting somewhat tired of being cold. It could be just me, but lately I have felt a real chill when the sun goes down, and find myself in a recliner covered with a comforter on many of those dark evenings. It helps a lot that it gets dark shortly after lunchtime around here lately.

I do have the privilege of spending many evenings with my eighteen-month-old granddaughter, Nahla. She comes over to babysit me quite a bit. Nahla also seems to like cuddling up on the couch with that old comforter and older Papa, just as much as old Papa does. (I also sneak some of her snacks of popcorn or Cheerios. She doesn’t seem to mind.) We watch her favorite toddler-appropriate TV show, (It’s something we both can relate to.) and both of us usually fall asleep as she listens to the music and I listen to the furnace gulping down fuel in the cellar.

Fellow New Englanders, winter has really just begun, and if you’re like me, you probably didn’t like my reminding you of that fact. (I wish I would be quiet.) Still, I do intend to make the best of it. God has blessed me with a big old sturdy house to take shelter in, and a beautiful child to share the comforter and the Cheerios with. What more could anyone ask for?

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