This week it's gotten really, really, seriously cold in my neck of the woods. The wind at my little farm is breathtaking, and I don't mean that in a good way. It takes your breath, hides it and gives it back to you in thin, icy blasts that burn your lungs and give your throat frostbite. We had our first snowfall yesterday. It was quite lovely to view...from inside the house. When I had to go outside and turn out horses, it was another matter entirely. The horses were alot more frisky due to the fluffy white ground cover and the brisk wind that blew up the backsides of their blankets. Getting them to their respective paddocks proved to be a daunting task. "Behave yourself", was a phrase that I ended up repeating over and over again. They did. They tried. No was injured during the turnout phase at JEM Stables. Phew.
All of this cold weather has conjured up a memory from my childhood that now makes me laugh, but at the time it was serious business. In early grade school, I had a best friend named Sarah. She was a lovely friend, besides the fact that she made me walk across a slippery, moss covered top of a brisk waterfall one day, but that's another story. Sarah was (and probably still is) smart and funny. I so enjoyed going to her house after school. Except in the winter. Her Mom was an experienced, 70's sort of mom. She'd had twins early on in life, in fact the twins were the same age as my oldest sister, so nine years older than Sarah and myself. Fresh air was stressed at that time of child rearing as being VERY good for kids. This meant that when I went to Sarah's house after school in the wintertime (this is NH, mind you), we would have a brief respite in their warm, cozy house and then no matter what the temperature, or wind chill, we were expected to bundle up and go outside to PLAY. Who plays in minus degree temperatures? I hated it. Sarah's mom would lock the door, with a big cheery smile and say "Have fun, girls!". I wanted to find the biggest icicle possible and stab her through the heart when she said that phrase. Sarah would shrug her shoulders, obviously conditioned to this type of misplaced mothering and totter off down the hill to gaze at the frozen pond that bordered their property. I vainly attempted to enjoy those after school moments, but really I just wanted to sit in front of the TV and watch The Mike Douglas Show. It was inhumane, child abuse, yet I went back again and again, because Sarah was such a good friend and after all I couldn't let her freeze to death by herself. Well, the good news is that we never died. Carol, the "Mom" still lives in the same house I visited as a child and Sarah lives, guess where? HAWAII! Hmm, bet those frosty afternoons have something to do with her chosen destination of where to raise HER kids.
Now I live in Millbrook, NY, where it's brutally cold in the winter. Very windy, unforgiving and frigid. Maybe those frosty afternoons with Sarah helped to prepare me for a lifetime of enduring winter weather at it's extreme. God help me. I'm off to apply another layer of face cream. Thanks, Carol. You witch. And I mean that in the fondest of ways.