Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Deep Freeze

Frozen Window
It was minus 25 degrees this morning. And I live in a motorhome. I really feel it’s about time to rethink my life.

Really, if I wanted to live through temps like this, I could have gone home to Montana and at least had the pleasure of beautiful scenery, things to do and friends and family to shack up with.

To say I’m cold is an understatement. My poor dogs won’t even go outside voluntarily, their paws freezing within minutes. I’ve resorted to carrying a bath towel when we head outside so that when the doggie dance of trying to get frozen paws out of contact with frigid ground begins, I can rush over and offer a brief respite by throwing the towel on the ground and letting then stand on it like a barefoot child on a hot, sandy beach.

Chloe huddled in her blankets
Between the necessary but dreaded dog walks, my day consists of huddling under my down blanket, only surfacing to heat up tea or re-cover a shivering dog.  I finally had to give up on my daily ritual of vacuuming up dog hair and dusting down surfaces as my space heater and microwave are running on overtime. Heck, maybe the extra hair will give us another layer of insulation. I can only hope.

I watch the winter storm warnings flash across the tv screen telling us to take shelter, cover skin and avoid staying outside for longer than 30 minutes at a time. I watch the forecasts with bated breath wondering when this deep freeze will come to an end…and wondering if I’m going to cave before it does and finally drag my frozen extremities and canine companions to the nearest hotel in hopes of finding a hot, hot shower and warm toes.

Ugly grey sweats, down booties and dog hair
For now, though, I’m hunkered down, encased in layers and layers of high-tech thermal sportswear topped by the ugliest grey sweat pants you will ever see with my feet covered by my down, campsite booties and strands of errant dog hair sprinkled about like sequins. And with all this down time on my hands, I decided to teach myself to knit. It’s not pretty but if I keep the down blanket pulled up over my head, my fingers stay warm enough to work my way through the stitches and the bright green yarn reminds me of spring. Oh man, I can’t wait until spring!

Doesn't that green remind you of spring?
Erik came home from work last night and said disgustedly, “You know, this time last year we were in Palm Springs.” Oh, lordy, I just wanted to cry. I remember Palm Springs and, even better, Ventura and the beach and warm sand and dolphins swimming and hot sunshine and…hold on, I’m getting myself worked up. But we’re not in Palm Springs. For better or worse, we picked Clovis, NM to winter in so here we sit, frozen inside our little ice-cube of a motorhome.

But, then I think, honestly, who am I to complain? Yes, this sucks. It really, REALLY sucks BUT we are so lucky that we have the option of choosing. I wonder how many people are stuck right where they are with no hope of choosing something different? How many people here in Clovis are shivering right along with us but, for them, this is it? In a month or two, we get to move on but this is their reality. Erik and I are so darn blessed that we have a choice. We can choose where we go and where we spend our time on earth. So, yes, next time we will probably choose Southern California beaches or desert over the New Mexican plains for winter. And maybe I’ll choose the hotel over freezing my ass off tonight but, for now, I’m going to pour myself a glass of wine and pull the down blanket over my head and toast to the fact that we have choices and, like it or not, we chose this crazy, surprising, wonderful, lonely, frustrating, unbelievable gypsy life. So raise your glasses, friends, and let's drink to choices!

I choose this!

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