Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Winter chills

Last week when our daughter visited it was so warm at times here that she would turn on the air conditioner in her room, just to keep the heat away.  The sun was out every day, (it is still really) but the days were warm and I was in t-shirts and short sleeved lightweight summer gear.

I know it is Autumn here now, but it has suddenly hit with a vengeance.  It is down to 10' C overnight, and I have a heater on in the main family living area.  The rest of the house is very cold at night, and I am suffering a bit.

I think the sudden onset of the cold snap has been too drastic, and of all things my feet are suffering. It is impossible for me to get them warm.  I am beginning to think that this goes back to an incident that happened many years ago, when I was a very young teenager, back in Burlington and was ice-skating in Crapo Park!

My friends and I used to skate on the frozen pond in the park, and laughed and enjoyed the snow and the coloured lights and the cups of hot cocoa in the skate house.  There was usually a large group of us, and as the night would progress we would end up playing 'Crack the Whip' a game on ice where each member of the 'Whip' holds onto the waist of the person in front of them and as the lead skater takes off, the whip, especially if it is a long one, snakes and whips all around the ice.  It was really a lot of fun, and inevitably the whip would break, and bodies would go flying!  By the end of the night we were usually drenched in snow and ice, and looking for a warm room, and the chance to get out of our damp snow gear.

On one particular night, my parents were supposed to pick me up at the park at a set time, and dutifully, I went into the skate house and removed my skates and damp socks and put on another pair of socks before putting on my shoes and then trudged through the pathway and snow to the road where they would be picking me up.

But something happened that night.  They didn't arrive. 

I stood in the dark cold and waited, not sure whether to go back into the skate house, then noticed that even it was shutting for the night, so I had no option.  In those days there were no mobile phones, so no means of contacting my parents.  I just had to wait.  About 3/4 of an hour went by, and my feet were numb from the cold and damp ground.  They were beginning to hurt, and I was getting very worried.  I felt something must have happened as I could not figure out what was taking them so long. 

I debated trying to walk out onto the main road to try to flag a ride to get home, but my feet were so sore, I could barely walk.

Finally they arrived.  I can't remember the excuse, but there probably was one. 

I just got in the back seat of the car, and couldn't stop shivering.  My feet were stinging and burning, and I started to almost cry in pain. 

When I got home, I carefully took off my shoes and socks which involved also taking off the tights and other snow gear I had worn to go skating.  My feet were bright red, and felt on fire.

My mum brought me a large container of lukewarm water, and I soaked them near a heat source, while I sat and shivered in my bathrobe.

Eventually they began to feel somewhat normal again, and I could move my toes.  But the chill had set in, and it took a long time for my body to get warm, and for me to be able to walk that night, without feeling the pain.

To this day, as soon as the weather changes, my feet are my barometer. They become increasingly cold and it is very difficult for me to get them to warm up.

I will be glad when we move to Cairns.  I will never complain about the tropics.  Just want to feel warmth again!

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