luckytroll: Wearing my old fave hat (skelly)
( Feb. 8th, 2008 04:51 pm)
I havent always hated winter. I do remember a time when it was pretty cool to burrow tunnels into snowbanks, and slide down hills at speeds that endangered dental work and spinal columns. But sometime in my late teens, I began to change my tune about the season.

I remember at one point in my late teens where I started to merge the two words - ice, and death. Sometimes when I would say the word "death" in my mind, the word "ice" would pop in as if they were the same concept. Not that I used either in my internal dialogues a lot, but I remember finding it odd that my mental dictionary had merged two words to become death/ice - sometimes I even imagined the slash being there too, in a way.

Perhaps this began to come from a near-death incident involving ice. Once on a winter prowl across the deep woods of Marlborough township, I walked across a frozen pond. It was frozen solid, so I crossed to near the other side. Almost across, there were a couple of tiny piles of twigs and mud - looking like miniature beaver-lodges. I think they were muskrat houses. I walked over to one and gave it an experimental kick, to see if the telltale hollowness would resonate and prove my theory. I neednt have bothered. Suddenly a sabre toothed muskrat burst from below the ice and swallowed my entire leg. No. Thats not exactly right. The warmth of the musk-rats must have led to the ice around their houses being thinner than the rest of the pond. They had no need to burst out of the ice. I burst through myself. Up to my hips in freezing water. The air was about -30. The sky was piercing blue. My breath caught in my throat, along with my testes.

I managed to crawl out of the ice, and walk back wet nearly a mile to my home. By the time I returned, I was barely intelligent enough to pour a lukewarm bath to crawl into. It saved my life.  That and a determination to keep walking.

That, and a couple other hypothermic incidents eroded a lot of the enthusiasm for winter. By the time I became officially "indoctrinated" into the art of winter warfare at 19 in the reserves, I already knew what it meant that to fight a war in winter is to fight upon two fronts. Winter had become my enemy.

Today I enjoy my carbon-emitting car because despite the inherent risk of carbon monoxide, I know that it is in essence a warm box that keeps winter and its icy claws away from me for the duration of my commute. Still, driving in winter in a car is like driving in a an endless safari through a land full of large hungry animals that have no fear of man. It is only a matter of time before you have to get out some day for some reason.

And when you do, thats when the ice weasels come.


luckytroll: Wearing my old fave hat (Default)


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