Saturday 22 December 2012

High -22°

Because I am one of those eternally optimistic people, I decided that I needed to get myself to the store and pick up a lottery ticket for tonight’s draw. Yes, I know it isn’t called the stupid tax for nothing, but you can’t win without a ticket. Some say that it is pretty hard to dream without a lotto ticket as well. I don’t know about that, but I felt compelled to buy a ticket on a dream today.

The high today was -22° with a wind chill of -28°, so I definitely needed to dress warmly. I could have taken the car, but it is a pretty short distance and I need to get some exercise. Sweater, scarf, coat, fur hat, boots and nice warm ski gloves would be needed to keep me warm. I don’t think I got past the property line when I realized that I should have taken the time for the long underwear. Oh well, it is just a short walk and my legs haven’t done me any favours lately, so they can just suffer. It just might teach them to be a little more respectful in the future. On the whole I was pretty warm and since there was no need to stop, it was what we call a “brisk” walk here in Calgary.

While I was walking, I flashed back to when I was delivering mail in this kind of weather. I would be riding out to the walk in a cab and on the radio the announcer would say that unprotected flesh will freeze in 20 seconds. The cab would stop and I would tell the driver to pick me up in 3 ½ hours. The way I figured it, my flesh could freeze 27,000 times before I was back in a warm cab. In all of those years, I was lucky enough to remain untouched by Jack Frost, except for a small spot on my upper right cheek that gives me trouble from time to time. We knew how to dress for the cold in the Post Office and of course we would keep moving. Stopping was deadly and once you got cold it was a devil of a job to get warm again.

People would offer to let me come in a warm up, but I would thank them and decline the generous offer. Once I got out of the cold, it was a lot worse going back out and although they were very nice people, I am sure they didn’t want the mailman living with them until the spring. I would have a complete change of clothes at the depot so that I wouldn’t have to wear the still sweat damp clothes out for the afternoon portion of my walk. I don’t think most people would do that, but it worked for me and I am sure the other carriers had their little tricks. Maybe I should write a letter carriers survival guide. Unfortunately the only way people learn is through their own experience, so the book would be useless. I might just write it though.

I made it home safe and sound from the store, with winning tickets clutched in my greedy little, glove covered hands. Well, I hope they are winning tickets, although I should just be happy to have survived the end of the world yesterday. I’m glad the world is still here, I have a few things that still need doing.

1 comment:

  1. BRRRRR that brings back awful memories of winter working at the P.O. The walks are longer now so I'm sure the posties are swearing louder then ever at the weatherman!