Monday, January 18, 2016

DEEP FREEZE



icicles

 
I was rudely awakened by the nearby sound of gunshots. Hunters are everywhere today and most are far too close for comfort.

I've been in a dangerously rabid mood all weekend. My initial thought was that I should probably be quarantined. Then I realized that I am basically quarantined, in this rustic purgatory of a mountain retreat.


Spell Check keeps insisting that I spelled "quarantine" wrong. Screw them.

I'm glad my cats all have their rabies shots, because I might bite.

Winter is firmly ensconced here in the Tennessee backwoods, and the Arctic temperatures keep reminding me that I should have moved somewhere more temperate. Like Guam.

It's presently 5 degrees (Fahrenheit) as I write this, and snow is predicted to enhance our misery by Wednesday. I had to stay up all night (again) to make sure the pipes didn't freeze. It's going to be a bitch of a week and I don't plan on venturing out anywhere for any reason. If worse comes to worse I'll make feline stew. Scruffy and Scratch will be the first victims. Since Bosco has the most agreeable temperament, I'll save him for next week.

I have an EXTREMELY important letter to be mailed. It's a near-matter of life and death.
My only two options are to:
1. Drive a million miles into town on dangerously icy mountain roads
or
2. Risk putting it in my mailbox and pray that the incompetent and sporadic mail carrier will pick it up some time before summer.

I opted to risk leaving it in the mailbox. 

Early last evening I bundled up against the 15 degree (Fahrenheit) chill and braved the long.....and I mean LOOONG... walk to my mailbox. The damn thing was frozen shut and I had to pry it open. I propped up the frozen little red flag and said a prayer to the Letter Gods that the errant mail carrier will see it on Monday (that's today).

The uphill walk back home in the frigid temperatures nearly killed me. By the time I got to the front porch I was breathless and dizzy with chest pains. 

I sat down at my computer in an attempt to recover, and checked the news headlines.
There - - was an alarmingly huge photo of Martin Luther King glaring at me, with the horrifying pronouncement that Monday is his birthday. Banks, schools, and post offices will be closed. NO MAIL DELIVERY.

My important letter will have to sit in that frozen box for at least another day. Or two or three or four - depending on the weather. And the whim of the mail carrier.

My question:
How many frickin' holidays are there????
It seems like every Monday is a holiday. Soon we'll have so many "holidays" that they will become one endless year-long holiday. I can see it now:

Oprah Day, Obama Day, Geronimo Day, Pocahontas Day, Tokyo Rose Day, Moms Mabley Day....Bill Crosby Day.....

....O.J.Simpson Day...... 

I'm anxiously awaiting Betty Boop Day.

(fat chance, huh?)
 




  

   

21 comments:

  1. When I lived in Western NC, my Daddy always left the water dripping overnight to keep it from freezing. He would leave the hot and cold. Did you know that the hot will freeze first? Barbara

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    1. I never knew that the hot will freeze first. Thanks for telling me.

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  2. fucking cold in philly too; my asthma hates me AND this cold weather.

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    1. Cold weather makes me lethargic. I don't feel like doing ANYTHNG.

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  3. I empathize completely with your postal dissatisfaction. When we moved to the sticks 35 years ago, we got one dyslexic postal carrier after another. Only way the government had to cut down on their misdeliveries was create more days off for them. When I mail a bill, I drive it to a supermarket customer service desk. Don't go to Guam, Jon. They just stuff your letters in bottles and toss them into the sea --more efficient than mainland rural deliveries but still far from perfect.

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    1. I (brilliantly) lost my first reply to your comment. Let me attempt to recreate it:

      I had a few dyslexic postal carriers in Texas, but here in the wilds of TN I question their ability to read. I never knew rural deliveries could be so sporadic. Perhaps replacing the carriers with messenger pigeons would help.

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  4. Gosh, don't get me going on the U.S. Postal Service! ... The only organization that does less and wants more $ to continue doing so -- with scowls on their faces.

    Thanks for the comedic take on upcoming holidays. (That was comedic, wasn't it?) I'm a little curious, why no caucasian candidates on your short list?

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    1. I remember when stamps were five cents and Air Mail (a rare luxury) was eight cents. Now what is a stamp? Fifty Cents?? I can't keep track.

      Yes, that was indeed a comedic take on upcoming holidays. I suppose I don't have to tell you that I seldom have the courage to write what I REALLY think - - reading between the lines is mandatory.

      I was going to say "Betty Boop is too white to be included"......
      but it might have started a race riot.

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  5. Well, my sympathy is somewhat tempered by the 2 plus feet of snow in my front yard, the minus 19 temps of the other day, the unplowed streets. But no, I'm bigger than that. I'm so sorry for your weather woes, perhaps it'll warm up soon.
    Cheers

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    1. Heck, I came to TN hoping to escape the harsh winter temperatures of the north. Unfortunately, my naive judgement was way off.
      Well I suppose my 5 degrees is preferable to your minus 19. Yikes!

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  6. John has to tie my hands behind my back to keep me from dripping the faucets when they predict thirties. I'm terrified of broken pipes.

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    1. When I was in Texas my neighbors would warm their car up in the driveway for an hour when the temp dropped to 45.

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  7. Jon you could move to South Alabama where if it gets cold enough to freeze the pipes they would thaw out the next day. It could freeze tonight, and be back in the mid-fifties tomorrow. Take care and stay warm. Jean

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  8. It sounds similar to some parts of Texas. The older I get, the more I hate cold weather.
    You take care too, Jean

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  10. I hear that the weather in Texas is good during the winter...

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    1. I lived on the high plains of west TX where it got very cold, but it never lasted long - and the snow would melt quickly.

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  11. Well, my demands to Mother Nature worked and the teens has arrived in Philly, with a huge snow storm predicted for this weekend. Yay!!!! Meanwhile please stay safe and cozy there....i send you big warm hugs!

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    1. I need all the warm hugs I can get.

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  12. I think I mentioned this to you last year, but I'm not sure. Anyhow, on your next trip down the mountains to civilization, you might see if you can find some heat tape at the hardware store. On the rare occasion that our temperatures are going to be below freezing for any amount of time, my hubby uses it to keep our pipes from freezing. It keeps them warmed through electricity. Not sure if that solution is even viable in your neck of the woods, but just figured I'd mention it.

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  13. Jon,
    I agree with you that we have way too many "Monday" holidays. What's that all about? And this Martin Luther King "holiday" has always just seemed like a bit too much, coming after the long holiday season from Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Enough with the holidays already. About the weather, I am so glad that I now established a new personal tradition of visiting the warmth of California every January. Let me tell you, it is such a pleasure to walk around in comfortable temperatures with palm trees swaying in the mild breeze while the East is a frozen ice floe. My ultimate goal is to spend at least two weeks (or more) next year in sunny California. If I had enough money I would spend the whole two months of January and February in California.
    You be very careful when you're out on the snow and ice. And please don't fall because then it will be all over.
    Spring is only a little over a month away!
    Ron

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I love comments. Go ahead and leave one - I won't bite. But make sure you have a rabies shot just in case.