As the world turns

Published 8:58 am Wednesday, February 25, 2009

February 15: Man, it’s cold. It’s dead winter and the days are short, the nights are long and the wind is blowing. There’s frost on the windshield and ice on the mudpuddles.

The car takes forever to warm up. The trees are naked. The cold penetrates down to the bones and brings up a shiver that crawls up the body out to the fingertips.

We get thermometer dips, dry lips and nose drips. We wonder if there’s enough anti-freeze in the car, oil in the tank and money in the bank.

The blankets are so cold that couples spar each night over who will first plunge in and make it bearable for the other, while the following morn it takes herculean effort to cast those warm layers aside and step onto that frigid floor, fumbling for clothes and coffee.

The weatherman says “High of 34 today as a cold front pushes through …..”

As you glance out the window at the white-coated ground, you can’t imagine it ever being too warm, and wistfully ask, “Will the summer ever arrive?”

August 15: Man, it’s hot. Here it is dead of summer and the days are long, the nights are short and there’s not a sign of breeze.

The air has a “heavy” feel as you sense the water droplets start to rise from your skin and attach themselves to your clothes, making them mat against your body. The ends of your hair, resting on your face, become saturated with that salty liquid called “sweat.” Breathing is labored.

Energy evaporates as simply walking demands effort. Shade is priceless as that ubiquitous haze settles upon the landscape making the heat its prisoner and you its slave.

The dog ventures out round the corner for a rub behind the ears only to saunter back, panting, to his resting place.

The kids say it’s “too hot” to go outside as the air conditioner hums along trying to suck all the heat out. It only seems to warm the outdoors a little more. Getting in the car, the 120 degree air takes your breath as you feel a close kin with that bacon you fried yesterday.

You drink and you sweat and you sweat and you drink. The next day, you do the same. You reach in your back pocket, pull out that drenched handkerchief and wipe your forehead for the nineteenth time today.

Glancing at the sun, you can’t imagine it ever being too cold, as you wistfully ask, “Will the winter ever arrive?”