Monday, October 06, 2014


of or at a low or relatively low temperature, especially 
when compared with the human body

Back when I was in elementary school, girls were not permitted to wear pants to school. On very cold days, elementary-aged girls were permitted to wear pants under their skirts or dresses for the walk to school or for the time standing at the bus stop.  Once at school, though, pants had to be removed.  

I remember feeling so cold while waiting for the bus on those wintery mornings in Pennsylvania--even with pants on under my dress.  Sometimes my hands and feet would go numb--especially if the bus was running late or if it broke down or school was cancelled after we left our homes.  

Occasionally we would be invited into the home closest to the bus stop to wait or warm up.  And occasionally a parent, not mine (because my mom did not drive), would let us warm up in their running car. 

Snow rarely canceled school in Pennsylvania.

I also remember worrying about how cold I would be when I was out out of elementary school and no longer permitted to wear pants under my dress while waiting for the bus--which is another perfect example of worrying for nothing.  By the 70's, we not only were allowed to wear pants, but the rules relaxed so much that my high school even provided a smoking area.  How nice of them.  Times sure changed, and not necessarily for the better.

I am participating in the Nester's 31 Days.  Check it out!


Emily Noe said...

"Cold" also brings back memories of many snow days spent sledding and playing in the snow. It seems like it snowed a lot more when I was a child. We would anxiously listen to the radio, hoping that school would be cancelled. If so, I just had to have a friend come over to play with in the snow. Nothing beat sleep overs on snow days with a friend! Bright and early the next morning, we'd be chomping at the bits to get out in all that snow! My mom would bundle us up so that we could hardly move, and we'd bust out the back door ready to try out the sled. We lived on several acres so we had plenty of room with several hills just perfect for sledding! We had a wooden sled with red runners on it. After a fun time sledding, we'd come in for snow cream and hot chocolate! After warming up, we'd head out again!! And, of course, snow ball fights ensued and building a snowman or snow fort was a must! Snow days were the best!

Create in Me said...

Not too long ago I saw that had listed my hometown of Viña de Mar, Chile- where I grew up as a missionary kid- as the best weather place to live in the world, where the average daily high temperature is 75.2˚F, and the average nighttime low is 55.1˚F. Cold is not my friend, you can see why. Although we roughly had all four seasons, the temperatures were so mild, our homes and schools did not need central heat and air. During the winter months space heaters were dusted off and set in place. On the coldest of mornings, you know, when it dared to get down to 45˚F and 50˚F, my mom would get up extra early and would have them on for us to warm up. My sisters and I would fight for the coveted warmest spot in front of the heater where we would pull up our jammies to warm up our tushies till they turned pink.
My family would come back to furlough in the States about every 3 years and would only be here for about 6 months. We mostly lived those times in Memphis, TN. Once, when I was in 6th grade, we were able to experience the miracle of snow. The most miraculous part of it was that it came on Christmas day! I remember the thrill of the wonder of what was unfolding in front of us. I cherish the warmness of being on my granddad’s farm, stringing popcorn on our Christmas tree and enjoying the company of family and friends. That is probably the only warm memory I have of cold weather. As an adult I hate cold weather, it makes me sad and it always makes me long for my childhood home, one where windows were almost always open, where Christmas was spent on the beach, and a space heater was all we needed to warm us up in the morning.

Karen Pashley said...

Day 7...Cold I grew up in western New York, where much of winter's weather had to do with what is known as "lake effect snow". This phenomenon resulted in huge snowbank mountains, so big you could drag a plastic flying saucer up and sled down them. I remember digging a snow fort with my siblings and neighbor friends. We scooped the snow with mittened hands, digging and scooping on our hands and knees until we could crawl inside our snow cave. Thinking back, that was a pretty dangerous thing to do. When you're a kid, danger doesn't usually register on the think-o-meter. Thankfully, our little caves never caved in on anyone. And the memories I have of ice cold toes and wind-burned cheeks warm my heart to this day.

Kimberly Hoyt said...

I've never been a fan of the cold, either literally or metaphorically.

Several memories come immediately to mind with this word. The first is from my junior year of high school, when my mom, sister and I lived in a small 8x20 travel trailer that the property owner had put up on blocks. He'd also built a wood frame lean-to next to the trailer, and we had to go through the lean-to to get to the well. Although we had electricity, we did not have running water. It was the mid 1970s in Appalachia. Neither the trailer nor the lean-to had any insulation whatsoever, and the only heating source was a coal burning stove in the middle of the lean-to. Well, I guess you could count the oven in the trailer, too. I remember my mom positioned our beds about a foot out from the walls, since you could see snow blowing in between boards occasionally. Any water left in a basin on a table by the wall was frozen solid by morning. I hated to get up in the mornings, it was so cold in there!

My second memory is from my adult years. I went back to finish college when my kids were 3 and 8 years old. That first year I took a winterim class on creative writing and the class was held at a farm in northern Michigan near Traverse City. The professor (who became on of our dearest friends) wanted to challenge his students to try new things, to stretch ourselves and move outside our comfort zone. With that in mind, he required we try various winter sports...including canoeing, which happened to occur on a day when it was snowing heavily and VERY cold. I wasn't sure I'd ever thaw out when we got back to the farmhouse after that trip.

This final one is not an individual memory so much as a compilation of times when I've felt frozen out of relationships. None of us like getting the "cold shoulder", do we? Although I dislike conflict, I also don't like pretending nothing is wrong when it is. I hate when someone chooses to show their displeasure or anger by being cold toward me, especially if I have no clue what's wrong. I want to shout: "Just tell me what's bothering you!" Let's talk it out, and make it right. Is that so hard?!

Especially in the last few years, I find I have less patience with that kind of behavior. Life is too short! Let's not waste time pretending. Let's just be REAL.

Jen said...

The blizzard of '93. We were still living in Knoxville. Our power went out and we pinned up a thick quilt in the doorway of our den-the room that housed the wood burning fireplace. We stayed in there for a few days, and when the power came back on I cried because I had to go back to my room!

Sonya Tichenor said...

One of my grandmas lived in a tiny town that had two gas stations and a post office. The two gas stations were across the road from each other and each had a store, although store seems a little fancy for what these were. Corbin's grocery was on the far side and it was the big uppity store, but only compared to the tinier Lane grocery across the way which my great-aunt ran. We always wanted to go to Corbin's because the candy selection was very impressive, but usually ended up at Lane grocery, of course. Lane grocery had an old timey coke machine that you put the money in and opened the door and pulled out a bottled drink. These drinks were so cold they had ice in them. I loved getting these iced cokes, and they tasted so good on a hot Oklahoma day! No coke has ever tasted as good to me as those icy cold ones.

Kathy Wiedemann said...
The only memory I get from this is from the first time I ever went skiing. I was about 16 or 17 and had been invited to go (along with my best friend) to Manfred’s parents’ cabin in Austria. He was supposed to teach us how to ski. The lessons on the “bunny hill” didn’t last very long, as he was quite proficient and getting bored and wanted to run off with his buddies on “the big hill”. My friend and I were instructed to stay there until we felt confident we could move over to the next level. Well, (ahem!)I was not going to spend my day falling down next to three-year-olds! So straight to the lift we went! That went surprisingly well, which only boosted our confidence, and when we got to the top (she fell off, I did not) we decided we were going to head down whatever dang hill we wanted! We are, after all, almost adults, for goodness sakes!
We eased our way over to where the various runs split off. I say eased because my friend was not doing as well as I was and seemed to be sort of slipping on the trail rather than skiing, at this point. There was a signpost marking the head of various runs. We liked the design of trail number 3 (it was a lovely, large, very pointy, black diamond shape) so decided that would be our first choice of the day.
The first few minutes of our run were exhilarating, to say the least! I was bundled in several layers to ward off the biting cold of the Alps. By the time we got down about a quarter of the run we had to stop to zip the sleeves off our coats and put our scarves and hats in our pockets. Who knew skiing was such a sweaty sport? Then the fun started. We rounded a bend, still oblivious that we had chosen the most advanced (read: most dangerous) ski run on the mountain, when we came upon another trail choice. The #3 at the top did not mean trail number three, it meant level three, of five, on a black diamond run. We saw the #4 at the fork in our trail and thought it meant to follow it….you obviously go from #3 to #4 when skiing down a mountain, right?

Kathy Wiedemann said...
Up until this point we had been able to slow our descent whenever we felt we were losing control. I still had managed to stay on my feet the whole time and only got close to (literally!) going over a cliff twice when I got frustrated with my friend taking too long and I would ski off with the speed I craved. She had fallen numerous times and was getting fed up and just wanted to get down the mountain. The trailhead for the level 4 run was to our right. She looked down it, saw how short it was, turned her skis exactly perpendicular to that steep slope, and launched herself off the top off the trail. The crash was immediate and complete. The snow she thought she was traversing was actually a solid sheet of ice, prickling with the most horrible rows of lumps and bumps formed by previous skiers cutting through the powder and then refrozen as the sun had gone behind the trees.
It felt like a million ice cubes had been scattered about and then stuck solid. How do I know what that slope felt like, you ask? The moment my friend started careening down that steep bank, which, if memory serves, looked to be a sharp thirty-degree angle once you were actually on it, I followed after her in a rescue attempt! (Snow is very good at obscuring the actual tilt of any given run…thus, the trailhead signage to warn people what they are about to attempt!) The fact that I had witnessed her immediate fall and subsequent crash into the trees framing the trail made me (at least) attempt a slow and careful descent to where she finally had come to rest. This strategy worked…almost.
I managed to get a third of the way down to my sprawled accomplice by pointing my skis up the mountain as I was gliding in a crisscross pattern down the slope. Four turns in and I decided I could go a bit faster if my skis were not at such a sharp angle to the direction I was travelling. Faster was right. You’d think someone lit a jet under my tail as soon as I eased off that upward direction! Swoosh was not the only sound on the mountain that day. The ice was so slick that my left foot was instantly jerked around at a disagreeable angle as I (over-)confidently rotated myself to continue my downhill rescue mission. Attempting to correct my wayward foot while sliding on ice resulted in a (quite humorous, I was told) backward cartwheel of some sort, ending with my “sticking” the landing completely prone, on my back and upside down, barreling down the side of that mountain head first! I vaguely remember one of my skis firing past my head (how did it get up there?) on its way to end up under my friend’s rear end. That particular ski was sticking with the plan. I respected that. My other ski, regretfully, stayed bound tight to my boot. I quickly realized that the loyal ski was going to get my leg broken if I didn’t either A. ditch it, or B. get it turned to a more visually pleasing and anatomically correct angle!

Kathy Wiedemann said...

I am now aware that Sue is screaming wildly and can only surmise that she has attempted to stand up only to fall and start sliding again. This was not fully accurate. She had managed to stand up, after being accosted by my rogue ski, and was now leaning on her remaining pole watching the acrobatics and listening to the rather loud narrations I was performing as I plummeted past her. I was hearing my own screams and expletives as I was frantically trying to stop my ever-faster descent! Every time I tried to jab a pole in the ground for traction I seemed to just make me go faster! At some point a safety strap broke loose and one of my poles shot down the hill like a Pershing missile headed for Moscow. I was now down to one pole, one boot, one ski, no gloves, and zero dignity. Remember those sleeves and other cumbersome items we have removed earlier in the day? By the time I got to the bottom that mountain looked like a yard sale gone wrong! I had snow in places I would have never thought humanly possible. Talk about cold.
Finally stopping myself near the bottom, I managed to stand on my one remaining ski. Sue had walked down most of the way in the trees, sideways, as she had recovered her equipment and put it all back on. As she got to about where I was standing I kicked off with my one foot and we skied toward each other. I swear I am not making this up. We literally crashed into each other, bumped our foreheads together, and fell straight backwards like two snow angles that’d been shot down!
I sat up to see my soon-to-be husband standing there, video camera in hand, laughing his head off! He had been looking for us for over an hour after returning to the “baby” area and being told we were seen headed up on the main lift. He had actually skied past us on the level 3 but turned around and backtracked to the base of the level 4 when he heard the screaming start…said he was pretty sure he’d found us 
And, no, the amazing number of bruises didn’t keep me off the slopes the next day…just didn’t go higher that a level 2 after that. By the third day, the day we were driving home, I was sure I had broken something (or everything!) but didn’t complain a bit…it was agony to even breathe! I just knew I must be bleeding internally or have permanent damage of some kind. The. Pain. Was. Glorious. I never let on about any of it, because, who are we kidding, he would’ve NEVER let me live that one down!

Sonya Tichenor said...

Kathy, HILARIOUS!! Glad you lived to tell the tale!

Lisa Biery said...

Day 7. Cold. Blizzard of 1993. My parents, sister, and some friends went tubing on Sheely's Hill. My dad had a fun jeep with wheels on it that were taller than me. My super cool freshman self hated that thing, except when it could get us out of the house during the days following a big snowfall. So I guess this memory really isn't a memory, because I really don't remember it due to head trauma, but its what I have been told. We took the big jeep to Sheely's Hill for some sledding. My sister and I went down the, only popular in the snow, hill on an inner tube. When we hit the bottom of the hill there was a little dip with another small hill to follow. Once we got over the smaller hill, she went one way, I went the other way, and who knows what happened to the tube. Apparently I landed face down in the ice and was out cold. Two ambulance rides later, I landed at Children's Hospital. This is where my memory kicks back in. Due to landing face down on the ice, I was very swollen and bruised, and I had braces...let your imagination run with that one. I was pretty beat up and had a nasty concussion to go along with the bruises. On the pediatric floor of the hospital there was a person dressed in a giant giraffe costume that was visiting every room. The candy striper thought it was a good idea for every patient to have their picture taken with the giraffe. I was mortified. My mom still has that picture...if I had it here with me I might post it...maybe.

Mel said...

Cold. I promised myself I'd write. I cannot write of winter, for the memories are not great. I'll write a happy thought. Every Memorial Day weekend of my childhood growing up in Maine, we'd go camping. The snow was still in the campsites of the great North Woods and the ice had only 'gone out' a couple of weeks before. As kids, we didn't care. Memorial Day meant the start of summer. Each year, all of the kids on the clan camping trip would clamor and beg to go swimming. Each year, they said no. And, each year, we'd wait until the afternoon sun got high in the sky and then 'happen' to fall into the COLD water. We'd yell back to the parents "Hey, we fell in. We are already wet. Can we just swim?" Each year, they laughed and nodded and we'd spend the next couple of hours in the icy waters, that don't see much above 55 at that time of the year, if that. A happy "COLD" memory

Lyle said...

I can't think of cold without thinking of HEAT! In our old farmhouse with its ancient furnace, the best place to get warm was always the two big wood stoves. On winter mornings, I would leap out of my bed, race from the sub-zero temperature of my bedroom and "hug" the stove in the kitchen. I remember Dad bringing baby lambs in to bottle-feed them by the warmth of that old black stove. And yes, I do remember the bandaged hands of both my younger brothers who simply could not resist the urge to touch! They definitely learned the hard way! Even in my college years, I would come home and stand by the stove, sipping from my mug of coffee, enjoying the conversation of my mom, dad and brothers at the kitchen table. Tears fill my eyes remembering because when I go home to the Shenandoah Valley, that farmhouse that was once my grandfather's and then my father's now belongs to a commercial development corporation. No more hugging the stove for me, but so thankful for the sweet memories I have.

Lisa Balough said...

Growing up on the shore of Lake Huron, cold was normal. Being snowed in for extended periods was normal. Building igloos, snow forts, even snow tunnels was normal. My primary school even did a fantastic ice sculpture contest a time or two, transforming the schoolyard into a wonderland of ice castles, Snoopy, even an ice toilet! My memory of cold, however, has to do with my bed sheets. No matter how warm the house was it seems that the sheets were ice cold. I always wore a nightgown to bed, and as every girl knows, they ride up! The most dreaded cold feeling in the world to me was crawling into bed and having those horrible sheets touching my legs.

MsHouse121 said...

When I see the word cold, the childhood memories that flood the theater of my mind are Weenie and marshmallow roasts, playing in the snow, building snowmen. Me and my siblings searching for the biggest Icicles to eat. When we were still small mom would go out in the mornings to start the car up she would tell up to look at all the wonderful and beautiful art work the Frost and Ice fairies did on the windshields during the night while we were asleep. We would all look with amazement at the ice designs on the windows thinking how talented this little creatures were. LOL Kinda made me sad that it would get all scraped off or the heat from the heater would melt it all after all th hard work their little hands put into their fascinating designs. Have you ever just stopped to really look at the frost designs on your windshield, its really neat. To this very day, I enjoy looking at the frosty designs on a windshield or glass window. God's Handy work! I always think of Mom and the frost and ice fairies. After a long day playing in the snow sledding ect,we would come in and mom would have ready for us hot Chocolate, and fresh hot popcorn. Each year mom or mamaw would make snow cream with us all. It was so good. Sometimes they would color the snow cream with food coloring or add chocolate chips to it! I remember warm fires snuggling up with blankets and quilts sleeping on the feather pillows that mamaw made for us ! I remember Bowls of hot chili and crackers and going to watch my brothers play little league football! Mom doing art work with us using the multi colored leaves ironing them between to pieces of waxed paper to make a picture and hanging them up with a stick and yarn. Jumping in piles of leaves and making scare crows! Gosh, I could go on and on! Great Memories!

Sabrina said...

I grew up in Memphis so we never got really cold winters. But the first time I ever remember seeing snow and there being enough of it to build a snowman was also my first and only case of the chicken pox. I caught chicken pox from my first grade class and brought it home to my little sister. We were both completely spotted up when one morning my mom pulled the window curtain open to reveal the most beautiful blanket of white covering our neighborhood. By the time our pox were on the downhill slide, the Memphis sun had melted every drop of white fun.

Becca Hill said...

I've thought & thought... All I can come up with is "cold" like sick! My grandma was a tough, tough woman who I always stayed with on "sick" days...and on those days she turned into a very kind & gracious nurse. She fed me cough drops all day that she usually fed her dog & shd told me to cough on him so he could " take my cold away!" Sometimes I would pretend to be sick & "have" to miss school ... Because I LOVED all of that nurture & attention! Plus I got to watch days of our lives with her... Which was very educational!

Lanette said...

Day 7 COLD

The word COLD brings back many memories of snow.
I loved the snow. School would be called out and we would go to Bill and Joan Southern's house to sled and eat chili. Bill would always build a large fire at the top of his long hill, so we could warm up when we climbed back to the top after a long ride down. We sledded on the wooden sleds and intertubes. My favorite was always the intertube.

My Dad also had a wood stove downstairs in our basement and my Mom would have us come in after sledding and undress at the stove. We would lay our gloves, toboggans and socks on top of that stove so they could dry. We hung our snowsuits close by so they could drip dry.

Last winter I had the chance to give my children some of these same memories of tubing in the snow.