When I tell people I’ve spent the last four years in India, usually the first observation revolves around the drastic change of weather. Yes, well, Germany is cold right now. Too cold for me, though I can be grateful it’s not colder, I guess. Snow is pretty and I’d rather it be minus and snowing rather than just a few degrees and rain.
However, I don’t think I’ll ever really get used to the cold. I lived in Europe for most of my life; I still hate the cold and will gladly trade any day for the warmth or even heat of India, thankyouverymuch. Most days I can’t feel my extremities, my nose is only one shade lighter than my “spring rudolf” look, and getting out of bed in the morning takes more self-discipline than anything else in my life.
Last week, I had the joy of remembering my first introduction to the cold along with the reminder of why I dislike it quite so much. We had to take the g-pigs to the vet to get their nails clipped and since it’s in the mall where I do my bulk shopping I thought I’d knock that off at the same time. Jordan and CC took the g-pigs home while Cherise and I did the shopping. I had, very wisely, forgotten to wear leggings under my pants and take along my gloves. Not so bad if I’m just going by bus, shopping, and taking the bus home. But of course, because I wasn’t dressed for the arctic, things didn’t go according to plan.
It turned out we would need to wait for 20 min for the bus. Usually, this isn’t a problem, we’ll just walk, as it takes about as long. The choice was stand and wait in the cold or walk in the cold; we went with walk. However, this time, because of the shopping and the fact that I wasn’t in a hurry to let my butt meet the sidewalk, it did take quite a bit longer. Within a few minutes, my fingers were burning; that sensation that comes from below-zero temps and lack of sensibility to bring gloves. By the time we got close to the flat, I had to call up and tell CC to help carry the shopping up as I had no feeling in my hands at all. Poor Cherise fared slightly better, due to the fact that she was dressed better, but took to her bed with a warm cup of tea as soon as we walked through the door.
Then the real pain started. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, try this: put your hands into the freezer for at least 20 minutes, or until you have no feeling in them anymore. Then let them thaw out. This was my first memory of cold and it all came rushing back to me. The joy of seeing snow for the first time. The warnings from my parents that it would be wiser to wait until we could get proper clothing, including gloves. The childish impatience of wanting to make a snowman, NOW. Coming back indoors and crying because my hands hurt so bad. Gently massaging my hands and drinking tea to try and warm up. Those are my first memories of the cold.
And now I went and relived them. I’m glad my kids can experience a real winter. I’m glad they had a nearly white Christmas. I’m glad it’s not raining. I’ll be ever so glad when it’s summer again. Is there a way to hibernate through the winter and allergy season? No? Ok, send me back home, then, please!