Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The cold just keeps getting colder

This has nothing to do with global warming, but it may have to do with aging. I have found in recent years that I am far more sensitive to cold than I used to be. I just don't tolerate the cold the way I once did.

I vividly remember my early years, playing outdoors no matter how cold it was. All of my friends did the same. None of us had bulky down jackets, and rarely did we wear hats or gloves, but we managed to play football or soldier or cowboys for hours on end with temperatures in the 30s or lower. At school, we would skate on frozen-over puddles that were so solid, we never cracked the ice.

As a teenager, I walked down through the woods to the creek, which had frozen over, and I walked on the creek ice as if it were a paved hiking trail, clear of the brush and briers that clogged the banks. I recall spending hours there, all alone, oblivious to the dangers. If I had fallen through the ice, there was no one to help me out, and I likely would have frozen to death long before anyone found me. I doubt that I told anyone where I was going. In those days, we just went, and we came home when we tired of what we were doing.

I rarely wore gloves as an adolescent, and the gloves I wore to make snowballs quickly became soggy. Now, I need gloves simply to take the dog for a walk around the block on a day in the low 40s.

There's no doubt that I am more sensitive to cold. I have new sympathy for elderly folks (more elderly than I) bundled in layers of sweaters while keeping the thermostat on 82. I hope I am spared that sort of loss of control over body temperature, morphing into a cold-blooded animal, but I can see how it can happen.

The earth might be warming, but the cold just keeps getting colder as I grow older.

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