I have a very vivid memory of standing at the bus stop when I was 7 years old in a purple padded coat. It was 50 degrees below freezing that morning, or so I was told once I got to school. I was too young for the internet, and didn’t care much for the news. All I remember is that I was standing there, waiting for the bus, my hair dry but frozen crispy. I could bend the strands of my hair and hear the frost break. It seemed like forever before I saw that big yellow box pull up 15 feet away. I was standing about 40 feet from my house in the circle driveway, waiting with a group of other elementary-aged kids. I remember thinking about how some kids dared others to lick a flag pole and said that your tongue would stick to the metal. Once inside the bus, I remember the metal window panes were coated with frost and I knew it was a dangerous idea. Still, I couldn’t get the dare out of my head. I bent over towards the frigid window pane and touched the tip of my tongue to the metal, just to see if it was true. I pulled it away, a small piece of skin missing. Once my tongue was back in my mouth, I remember the subtle sting of my skin warming back up and the open wound soaked with my own saliva. It was a silly thing, but I had to experience for myself if it was true and possible. I remember that I was sitting alone, and didn’t want anyone else on the bus to know that I had to try it. I remember my friends talking to me later, and the 7 year old boy who held back the sixth graders so that I could be the first one to get off the bus, unaware of the missing piece of my tongue.
It is a reminder that the cold here in Massachusetts is trivial to what I have experienced in my past. I am now 23 years old, and there is a “wind chill warning” in effect tonight. The lowest temperature is predicted to be -8 degrees Fahrenheit. I walked home from work a couple of hours ago. It was about three or four blocks, and I didn’t really notice the cold. I was properly bundled up, but when I got home and Peggy was calling outside for the cat, she was in shock that I would be walking home in this weather. Every time I hear word that the temperature will dip below zero, I am reminded of that wait at the bus stop, and remember how it was cold, but it wasn’t so bad.
Take it as an inspiring metaphor, if you want. The truth is, just because I have seen worse cold doesn’t mean that I don’t wrap up in a blanket when it gets colder than 68 degrees inside 😉 but still, I am from Wyoming! #bornandraised #wyomingirl #youdontknowcold
Just a thoughtful recollection from my past. It is completely true, if not written a little more poetic than I could have done at age seven.