I was reading reports this afternoon when I fell across one noting that a parking lot’s completion awaited the “reopening of the asphalt plants.” Lots of pennies dropped, along with a couple of questions and unedited “huhs?” Just this morning, walking to the ferry, I was remarking mentally that the corner of Prince and Barrington Streets has remained a cold patch hazard for months now.

I checked with a wiser coworker and discovered that, yes, here and now, asphalt work stops from mid-December until some time in April because “it’s too cold.” Now, I have moved here from California, yes, but this is hardly my first toss at cold climates. Nova Scotia can’t hold a candle–wrong metaphor, but who holds an ice cube–to Northeastern Ohio, and Massachusetts does a deep freeze compared with what I’ve felt here so far. Did I just never notice that asphalt wasn’t a happening thing in my previous winters?

Plowing through my current “review date” called for a second glass of wine at supper, but then I was offered a third, and I could feel my eyebrows shoot back to meet the nape of my neck. Just cuz the other “reading woman” in the dining room was working decorously on her third Guinness doesn’t mean I could ever navigate my way home after more than 8 ounces of fermented anything. I’m a piker, relatively speaking…

Just as I realized I was the winter I was about eight or nine and we had no heat at home. This was when I became deeply respectful of the Delaware indians who had spent their winters camped outdoors, (of course) in that valley close to my unheated home more than 40 years ago.


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