The Coldest I’ve Ever Been

In Sports on September 26, 2008 at 9:18 PM

Are any of you happy to see cooler weather coming our way? There’s no doubt about it, summer is going away and will be replaced with cooler weather. That’s a wonderful realization for me and scores of others who are weary of high temperatures and humidity. I’ve heard people quip “I can take the heat; it’s that humidity that gets you.” Well, now, what if you have both of them? Bring on the coolness.

Have you ever been cold? I don’t mean windbreaker cold or flannel shirt and coat weather, either. What I mean is down to your bones cold, so cold you would like to stick your hand in a fire to get some heat. Bone-chattering cold; it can’t get any colder type of cold. So cold you have to put your frozen words in the campfire in order to hear what you said. Anyway, you get the picture.

Granted, many of you can tell of experiences you’ve had that make mine look tame in comparison, but I’ve got to tell you something you are going to find hard to believe. I’ve lived in Illinois, Texas, Germany, along with other places, too, and have seen some pretty intense cold. There were times during those years when snow would be piled above the top of the doors and it would be difficult to get around. That’s definitely heavy coat weather, to me, anyway.

The coldest I’ve ever been was right here in central Florida way back when I was in high school. You don’t need to know the year, it’s not that important. We did have running water, electric lights and indoor plumbing at the time, so it wasn’t that long ago.

I still remember the whole experience, not every detail, but enough to recall the good times had by all during our little adventure. Times were much more carefree back then, and I sometimes find myself longing to relive those days again. They are gone and it’s time to set our course toward heaven, awaiting the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. There are plenty of experiences yet to enjoy in this life, so let us go on with a purpose.

It was cold on that afternoon when several of us high school friends decided it was time to go duck hunting, and we knew just the right spot. If memory serves correctly, there were four of us in that little john boat. The wind was whipping pretty briskly, and the temperature was below freezing, so that made for quite a combination. The clouds were nasty looking, and I still don’t know what we had in our minds to be where we were at the time.

We all had our shotguns and just knew we were going to “bring home the bacon”, so to speak, but it was supposed to be duck. Some of the guys were good outdoor types who knew what they were doing. This was my first duck hunt, so I wasn’t sure how to handle the whole situation. Anyway, there I was in the john boat, shotgun in hand, and away we went.

Some birds flew near, and we killed a few, putting them in the boat for later. The thought of duck cooking in the oven was something we could all sink our teeth into. All of us downed a few, and then we thought it was time to call it quits for the day. Just about that time, the wind really started picking up, and that little john boat got hard to control. It was already nasty, cold, damp, windy and the weather seemed to be getting worse every second.

In an attempt to get to the shore, we began rowing with all we had in us. Did I mention how bad the weather was? All of a sudden, a big gush of water soaked me from my head to my feet and I almost turned into a block of ice. I know, I know, it’s Florida and not supposed to get cold. Florida just didn’t know that and decided to pull a fast one. I have never been so cold in all my life. Does the word brrrrrrrr mean anything to any of you?

What about you? Would you please tell of your coldest experience, when and where? I think it would be interesting.

  1. My husband was born in Ohio and raised from infancy in Central Florida. I lived in Pennsylvania as a child and though we had snow, don’t recall anything severe. We moved to the San Francisco Bay Area of California, and had some cool weather, but nothing I would characterize as cold. Later on, after the birth of our oldest child, we lived for about 2.5 years in wild, wonderful, and beautiful West Virginia. Our first winter was mild and a novelty for us. The second year we had a harsher winter. My worst feeling of freezing cold was the morning I stood on the porch of the little farm house we rented in WV, and the thermometer read 10 degrees below zero. I was having a hard time fathoming that, and I silently prayed then and there, for the Lord to move us back to Florida. The house was either freezing when the wood stove needed to be refilled, or sweltering when it was going. I disliked the smell of the kerosene heaters we used to supplement, but am thankful for them. Our van was piled beneath snow and so far from the road, that digging it out was not an option. We were homebound and I had visions of Jack Nicholson in The Shining as the gray days wore on. Would the toilet paper and baby diapers last until we could finally get out again? I enjoy visiting the cooler climates now, but I’d prefer not to live there. I like the heat and humidity. I also enjoy a little cooling off period in the Autumn and a nice, mild winter.

  2. I remember some of that story; your other half told bits and pieces of it during our PCG meetings. Ten below is pretty chilly.

    Somewhere in all our stuff, there’s a couple of picture of my dad while he was stationed in Alaska. One is him panning for gold: flannel shirt, gloves, khaki pants and boots. The other is a bit strange, though. Here is is in a t-shirt and khaki pants, snow all around piled high, and him looking as if nothing was unusual. He said Alaska is a different kind of cold, so it didn’t bother him at all. Hmmmm!

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