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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Part One: That Farm House Attic Dang-Near Killed Me

“Was it cold?” Dad asks.  “Uff-da.  Let me tell ya:  they don’t make cold like that anymore.”

He turns to me.  “Care for a beer?”

We are in the garage/living room, a surprisingly well-carpeted area with a fridge, a couple of pieces of comfy furniture, and a wood-burning stove.

In other words, we are in heaven.

I hold my arm out, make “gimme gimme” motions with my right hand.

He opens the fridge, nodding.  “Yep.  They don’t make temperatures like that every day.”

I nod. 

“Yes-sir-ee,” He clears his throat.  “It sure was cold.” 

Oh.  Almost missed my cue.

“Is that right?” I say.  “Just how cold was it?”

From the far side of the room there is the sound of a can of beer being opened, and then he is walking toward me.  He hands me the beer.  He sits down – “Ooof!” – in the La-Z-Boy near the wood stove.  He leans over, opens it up, throws some wood from the pile near the chair in.  The fire cackles in the fading light of a winter afternoon, throws staticky comments concerning cold and warmth, of the beginning and the endings of things.

I pull the afghan around my legs.  It is six below zero beyond these walls, a creeping, insidious cold that respects no boundaries. 

“Did I ever tell you about the time it was so cold I dang-near had a heart attack?”

I shake my head.  “Don’t think so,” I say.

He takes a pull from his beer.  The light from outside has weakened considerably – it is, after all, almost 5:00 in the afternoon – and the only light in the room comes from the glow at the seams of the wood stove’s door. 

My father  sets his beer on the table next to the La-Z-Boy.  “It was 1956,” he says.  “I was 17, and we’d gone out to Burton’s house…”


Part II tomorrow?  You know it, baby!

22 comments:

Esther Montgomery said...

There's a time split between we who were brought up with ice on the insides of windows and chilblains on our toes and think being cold indoors is both a right and s duty . . . and those who think comfort is better.

Pearl said...

Esther, well said!

Delores said...

This is cruel Pearl...very very cruel.

Pearl said...

Delores, oh, you know me. I hate to post more than 300, 350 words at a time. :-)

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Your dad is just MADE of stories! :)

vanilla said...

Okay. So we'll pull the afghans a bit tighter around our legs and wait patiently. . .

bill lisleman said...

cold beer on a cold night - beer is amazing stuff. Many people would want hot chocolate maybe a hot toddy.

jenny_o said...

Wait, what? We were just getting comfy! Now I have to get up out of this chair ... dang.

Daisy said...

Wrapping an afghan around my shoulders and sipping on a cup of tea waiting for the next installment... :D

fishducky said...

If I have to wait until tomorrow, I'd better go get my parka...

Joanne Noragon said...

Pearl, it is just too cold in Minnesota. Unless this is about Wisconsin, in which case it's too cold there, too. I'll see you tomorrow.

Ray Denzel said...

Adjusting my long underwear, I to shall wait...

Elephant's Child said...

Goodness you are a tease. Still it will be worth the wait.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I am sitting here with afghan around my legs and have a nice fire burning waiting to hear about the big cold of 1956. They just don't make cold (not even in MN?) like they used to.

Eileen Black said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eileen Black said...

A delicious appetizer. The only one better than Pearl at telling stories is Pearl's Dad.

I hope this North Pole weather goes away soon for both of us. There is only so much firewood in the world.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Oh Pearl. Tomorrow is so far away.

Gigi said...

Tomorrow?! But by then I'll have hypothermia for sure! I guess it's worth it.

sage said...

that's right, leave us hanging! :)

Rose L said...

AWWW, come on!!!! Not another cliff hanger.

River said...

It's a good thing today is almost over, I won't have to wait too long for tomorrow.

Diane Tolley said...

Wait. What? Could you repeat that? My ears are frozen . . .