Depends, I suppose!
Grandad and I
stood on deck
Antarctica 91
Icebergs ringed our spot
penguins checked us out
Warm, summer, you see,
at zero or there abouts….

Fluffy the cat
with two inches plus
of thick luxurious fur
prefers the outside
instead of my shop
heated to 45

Enter me
bundled to nines
toes and fingers still cold
as I climb a ladder
to check a bin
breath blowing fog
eyeglasses steamed
Starting a truck
uh, uh, uh,
Ker chug chug chug
It spits and coughs
then evens out
but starting, none the less

Then there’s big diesels
oil like tar
fuel at risk of jelling
that just wait for spring
or warmer days
No problem sitting quiet

I remember times
we milked some cows
early morning and evening chores
I sat on a stool
and milked away
my head warming from the flank
and my hands warmed by teats like toast!
The milk steamed
in the ice cold pail
as I carried two to the house
The basement was warm
from a giant coal furnace
as Grandma ‘separated’ cream

We had an axe
we chopped the ice
from the horse tank every morning
Then the cows drank deeply
40 gallons per daily
amazing to see them slurp!

One time in economizing
grandpa got some hay
spoiled, useless, some fellow thought
so grandpa got it free
We heated water
and heated sorghum
mixing the two together
then poured it on
the nasty hay
and watched the cattle woof it!
Problem was
our pants got stiff!
Would stand up in the basement
without us in them!
Ever walk
in frozen pants
and hear them crack and crackle?

There was a time
when cold winds blew
and snow became a blizzard
The sheep were lambing
so I went
to help them through their labor
I couldn’t see
a hundred feet
or even 15 maybe
I hung on to
the pasture fence
to go and find the barn
Once inside
it seemed so toastie
and lambs were born somehow
I helped the mamas
dry them off
then watched the lambs stand up
(I’m hungry! Really I am!)
Amazing what can happen

Reminds me of
another story
when settlers first had houses

Grandma served
as a neighborhood deliverer
more common than a doctor
Reifstecks’s lived
across the section
their house a rough affair
One winter day,
a baby came
to a cold, cold room
blankets catching snow
but still he came
that little fellow
who lived to 79!
Again amazing
how we cope

What good’s the cold
you well might wonder now?
It kills the bugs
that eat our crops
and kills the funji
that would kill plants too
For that we must give thanks!

Cold’s a blessing
can’t you see?
So hunker down and dream
of springtime sun
and summer breezes
they’ll soon be on their way
We’ve turned a corner
(winter solstice)
so days will start to linger
each day longer
into summer
just hang on!
The weather’ll change
in just another slumber !

Lin, 12/08
Think “Global Warming’!