In a move that will surprise no one from these here northerly climes, Mother Nature pulled a fast one and dropped the temperature a casual 30 degrees last night.
I was against it.
Of course, in many ways, I blame myself. Despite the temperatures being in the 70s for the last month or so, despite this being The Winter That Weren’t, I should’ve known better than to have put away the heavy woolens.
Look at me, all cocky. Won’t be needing the cashmere anymore, will we? No need for leg warmers. Why, we’ll be wearing swimsuits in no time!
Yes, sir, while last week’s bus-stop temperatures, even at 6:00 a.m., were in the high 50s, low 60s, this morning’s temp was 35.
Why I oughta…
My lined wool jacket, tucked safely in a mouse-proof bin, now resides in the basement, two floors down. Home to the ever-advancing cobweb, I avoid the basement in the same way I avoid the temptation of a fourth margarita or anyone saying “smell this – does this smell funny to you”?
And so Monday morning I did what all right-thinking Minnesotans do: I pulled up my socks, donned my little cap – and jacket and scarf and leather gloves – and swore under my breath.
And then I went outside.
Here is where the images of my ancestors, clad in layers of home-made pants and darned sweaters rear their collective head and shake it sadly at me. You call this cold? Get out there and milk those cows!
This confuses me, initially, as I own no cows, but then, cleverly, I see what they mean: I should get out there, catch that bus, and earn a living like I’m supposed to.
So when my fingers start to ache with the cold, I trudge on.
And when the rain drops come, big as pancakes, I am grateful to have reached the bus shelter.
And when I board, the bus is warm and dry. No kitties sitting up, of course, begging for squirts of milk. No smell of hay, no steam coming off the cows.
But if you tilt your head and squint, just right, the lady at the front of the bus in the black-and-white coat looks familiar.
And the ancestors in my head smile.