a re-run

I know most of my "readers" have been hit with the snow yesterday and today [and probably tomorrow]. Every time we get a good, solid, windy snow I miss my college days. It's crazy, I know, but there is something about cold and winter that make me miss that place and the warmth of the people I was surrounded with at that time in my life.Here is a picture of me enjoying the cold. My Junior year I was an RA and I grabbed some girls on my wing and we built this awesome fort.
Just this past week I was on the basketball bus [yet again...story of my life...but we won the championship of the tournament we were in], and was talking with the driver about the "storm" that was supposed to hit this weekend. The cheer coach, lamenting the weather, said she is sick of winter and cold and snow. I said I think it is absolutely beautiful. And I really mean it. I love a good snow. It makes everything feel fresh and new and clean. It makes me think of Jesus saying He has washed us "whiter than snow." It makes me want to drink coffee and read. It makes me want to go sledding and build a snowman. But is always makes me want to be back in college--where it didn't matter if my car got buried because I had no where to go for WEEKS; it didn't matter if I didn't have food stocked in the pantry because I could walk to the cafeteria and get a warm meal; and it didn't matter if I couldn't get out to visit people because I lived with my very best friends.

So in honor of the snow falling outside I decided to post a "re-run." I wrote this during my senior year of college, and although I love a beautiful snow fall, I still thought the snow in NW Iowa would be my demise. So bundled up and enjoy:

It starts in my toes...

I just got back from supper where I had a nice steaming bowl of noodles on which I piled some broccoli I steamed in the [needs to be cleaned desperately] microwave. After cleaning my tray I grabbed my coat...

and my gloves
and my scarf
and my ear warmer

and I bundled and I bundled and I bundled until I could barely move [you know, to the point that you are so entirely bundled that in order to turn your head you have to move your entire torso?]. I pushed open the first door to be greeted with cold air.

I was still in the entry way.

I pushed open the second door and my feet instantly went numb and it had begun...I now had to barrel my way to the other side of campus to make it back to the safety and warmth of my apartment. I picked up my pace to notice the nice, hidden- jump- at- you-from-behind patches of ice. I slowed to a mere 0.3 mph to ensure that I didn't fall, unable to decide if falling on the hard sheet of frozen doom would be worse than walking slow enough to be safe and make sure that that I didn't. Option A only leaves me with bruises, maybe a broken bone. Option B leaves me with first degree frost-bite and the inability to function as a human being for a solid hour until I am thawed. I remembered my professor's wife who shattered her leg not too long ago on the ice and, 90% certain I am making the wrong decision, walked at a mind-numbingly slow pace.

Gusts of artic winds almost knock me down anyway. I'm trying to decide what the temperature is but then I realize that the cold is creeping up my body and so I try to trick myself. Hawaii. Soup. Campfire.

Not working. My eyes begin to water but the liquid in the corners of my eyes freezes instantly at their first taste of Iowa. My nose has ceased dripping as its hairs are forever frozen to my nostrils. I say hello to a fellow trekker and the cold enters my mouth and I instantly feel every single tooth in my mouth. Pain.

I can now see the lights of my building, and when I pick up my pace I remember the wife and the shattered leg and I slow, but by this point I am certain that my blood as slowed to the flow of molasses. I remember a friend in Missouri telling me it is cold there and I laugh.

I am so close now. My hands have lost the capacity to function and I'm pretty sure my nose is somewhere in the snowdrift 20 feet back. Finally I reach the door and it opens and I am greeted with warm air and I stand inside my apartment and I don't remove anything for at least 10 minutes. And then slowly


I take off my gloves. 1....2....3.......9....10. Good. All my fingers are still there [but I'm not even going to look at my feet because I know there has to be damage down there].

I take off my ear warmers. Good thing I don't have big earlobes or I'm sure I would be mourning their loss.

I unzip my coat and consider suing the company that made it.

20 minutes later I remove my scarf.

Whew. I survived. It takes me about 3 minutes to walk from the caf to my place, but I'm sure someday those 3 minutes are all it will take to kill me.

When I was finally warm my roommate walked in--- her face as red as can be and all I could see were her eyes and nose. She yells something about it being -25 outside so we check weather.com:

Actual temperature: -1
w/ wind chill feels like: -25

Why did I ever go to school in Iowa?


the start photo said...

my favorite short story/essay/whatever-you'd-like-to-call-it that you've written.

Sharon said...

I remember how I laughed when I read that before. I remember how you tried to tell me (who had lived there for the first 22 years of my life!) that I didn't understand how cold it was! But I might add that it is one of the few ways you're like your mother. Nothing more peaceful than a good blizzard!

Ana-Lou said...

Oh wow that was WONDERFUL reading! You know, From the first time I met you and saw your smile (along with those wonderful curls!); I thought "I love her for BRENTERS!!!!"
Now after reading, We have quite a few things that are wildly "kindred spirited" . . . . ahhhh (sigh), the love of snow!.