Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Memory of Fresh Snow

It snowed most of yesterday morning. When I looked outside this morning I saw the entire back yard was a vast area of fresh trackless sparkling snow.

As I sat at the kitchen table eating breakfast I remembered one day when I was 13 while we were living in Allison Iowa. One Saturday morning we all woke up to a countryside covered with a blanket of fresh trackless sparkling snow. After breakfast, my older brother and I decided to see if we could find some fox tracks in the snow. We wanted to see how far we could follow a fox.

So we started off. It wasn't long before we picked up the trail of a fox. As I remember it, we followed that fox most of the day. We walked along tracking that fox up and down hills, through fences, along the ditches beside the roads, across roads. At times we would come upon spots where the fox had sat down. Finally late in the afternoon we arrived at the fox den. As we came closer and closer to the den there were more and more old tracks making us thing that we were getting close to the fox den. The interesting thing was that the den wasn't far from where we started following the fox. Over the years as I thought about that Saturday, I often wonder if we were minutes or hours behind the fox?

We both were hungry, wet, and tired when we arrived home that afternoon. I don't know how my older brother felt about that Saturday. I often think back on that day and consider it one of my more precious memories.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Memories of Cold times

We have had a cold start to February this year. So I've been sitting in the house remembering some cold experiences I've had.

I remember working for V.T. in western Kansas. One year on the Friday after Thanksgiving he asked me to help him clean out a well. So we gathered everything we needed and headed out to the pasture where the well was. Once we arrived we disengaged the windmill and began to pull the pipes up out of the well. As each pipe section came up we would secure the lower pipe and remove the upper pipe. As the upper pipe came loose cold, ICE COLD, water would run down over our hands, legs basically we just got wetter and wetter. I don't remember how long we were out in that windy pasture getting wetter and wetter with each pipe that we removed. However, I do remember almost dropping a section of pipe down the well because our hands were so cold we were having trouble holding on to the pipe. We did manage to clean out the well using a sand bucket. I remember that on the next day when we reassembled the well everything went easier. It was just as cold and the western Kansas wind was blowing just as hard, however all the pipe and the pipe fittings were dry.

I also remember one day in January 1971. At the time I was living with A. D. and U.H. I had to walk about 1 1/2 miles to the catch the CTA train down town. By the time I arrived at the train platform I was cold through and through. Once on the platform the wind just whistled around me. Finally the CTA train arrived and I got aboard and found a seat by a heater that was blowing cool air around my feet. It took a while for the train doors to close but finally we were off to the next stop. At the next stop the doors opened and the frozen commuters came aboard and found places to sit. However, this time the doors wouldn't close. There we sat with the cold wind blasting through the train. After waiting and freezing for 20 to 30 minutes we were told that we all would have to get off the train and take another train. So we all clambered off the train and stood on the platform. While the ice cold wind whistled around us, we watched the next two trains express past us because they were filled to capacity. Finally a train stopped and I was able to continue downtown to my job. I didn't think I would ever warm up.