The water dish was frozen solid this morning when I went outside to feed the cats. They were all collected on the back steps awaiting their breakfast, all were fine even as the temperature hovered somewhere in the twenties Fahrenheit. Bella and Molly are inside. I won’t make them stay outside in temperatures that I won’t. They may be dogs but that doesn’t stop them from being cold.
Some mornings I scroll through the memories that show up on social media early. As I did this morning.
Some explanation to parts of the memory. Where I used to work, for years they had an agreement with the local energy provider. On days that were too cold or too hot and energy usage would be excessive, they could and would shut us down for several hours at a time. They installed an alarm that when it sounded we only had ten minutes to get everything but the emergency lights shut down and everyone out of the building. Management was always warned when it might happen. If the operator near the horn wasn’t warned, the sound of that thing going off could and did cause a big fright as that alarm was loud. It had to be, to be heard even though there were also lights through the room that spun and flashed.
Buddy was an older dog that never adjusted or wanted to live inside. We tried but he was happier outside with the only exception being during storms or fireworks. He crossed the bridge a couple of years ago due to his advanced age.
I wanted to share the following as a reminder over the cold. Especially when it drops to temperatures that we are not accustomed to in this area.
A stroll down memory lane..a moment from 2015
Good morning all– I’ll be honest. I did not want to get out of my warm bed. The alarm went off, I hit the snooze bar and snuggled back down under the cover. Duke energy has the plant shut down, I don’t go in to work until 11am.. why get up? I have a radio playing at night to keep the house from being too quiet and the announcer saying it was 12 degrees with a windchill factor of 2 did not help. The bedroom felt so cold, I feared the fire had gone out and I dreaded with a passion getting up in a cold house and trying to get a fire going. I don’t have kindling so it takes some work getting one to burn. After about the third time the clock went off Bella, with a cold nose to my face, let me know she -needed- to go outside.
Dragging myself out of bed and struggling quickly into a housecoat I started out of the bedroom only to be met by Buddy. My son had brought him in after all, I was glad. Buddy’s insulated, dog house is filled to the max with shavings, we have an insulated fabric door on it, but 12 degrees is too cold for his older bones.
When I let Bella out I saw that my son had put something in front of the door to help keep out the cold air. Closing the door I walked over to the wood stove that to my delight had not gone out. It was still hot enough that adding some cardboard and wood to it caused it to flare right back up. We have well water. I kept the faucets dripping last night with cabinet doors propped slightly open. I went to heat a cup of water for coffee in the microwave. Usually a minute and a half is plenty of time. This morning the water isn’t even lukewarm at that. I was glad that my son wouldn’t be up for a while as I dressed in front of the wood stove. Buddy is tucked away in the bathroom ( that has a nice little space heater that warms quickly)where I usually change.
Why did I tell you all of that? Did I really think that you would care that much about my morning? No, not really. I wanted you to think about this.
Its 12 degrees here in Gastonia, NC. Its may be colder or warmer where you are..The wind chill according to the radio is 2 degrees. We are not accustomed to that. Its cold enough that school is on a two hour delay. Would you send your kids out to stand on the side of the road in these temps?
I have a home that is heated. I have a bed piled high with blankets, quits and comforters. I have enough warm clothing that I can layer and be warm. I will soon prepare breakfast. When time comes I will warm my car and then drive that same warm vehicle to my job. I will complain a little (or a lot) about how cold it is even though I have all of the above mentioned things.
What about the homeless? A tent, a bench, a spot in the underpass.. those aren’t heated. — Not all homeless are because of mental health or addiction issues.What about those who have homes, but maybe the power has been turned off? What about the children who do not have warm clothing, food to eat…Once upon a time, we did not rely on the government to take care of these issues. Once upon a time, we took care of each other. We checked on neighbors, we kept an eye on the elderly and the children. We knew those struggling and helped them ourselves. We worked to lift them up, find them jobs, fix problems with their homes. Even if we couldn’t get someone with ‘issues’ off the street, we made sure they weren’t in danger. We took care of -the least of these- From some of the things I’ve read, it appears our government who told us years back, “we can do a better job” are now turning their backs on the ones who have come to depend on them. We need to step up and reach past the so called government and take care of our brethren who are suffering.
Currently, the cats are out back playing in the yard, I an almost hear them laughing, ‘what cold weather?’ Both dogs are still sleeping contentedly behind me. Molly had awakened me this morning barking needing to go out. After she came back inside I piled wood into the stove on top of the hot ashes that were all that remained of last night’s fire. But I also have a furnace that I had turned back on last night. My house was not is not cold. I no longer work, so I have no reason to leave out this morning. I can stay here, watching the cats and enjoying my coffee. I can watch the smoke from the woodstove drift through the woods and the sunlight, bright and bold shining down. I am comfortable, safe and sheltered.
As I mentioned above, what of those who are not? What of those, who are in colder, more dangerous areas than this? Those who for what ever reason cannot get into a shelter, even if there is room. What of those, who are not safe, warm and sheltered? Is it not beyond time for us to step up and take care of each other? Is it not beyond time that we open our hearts and offer compassion to those in need? Is it not beyond time, when we see and understand that people are as much worthy of a safe, warm place as our pets? I have seen it done in some instances, where the need is great. I have witnessed when hearts and wallets are opened, when needs are met. But the need doesn’t end, it isn’t only in storm damaged areas. It isn’t only certain times of year. It isn’t only certain types of people. It is all around us and we need to open our eyes and hearts to see and in compassion reach out to be the difference so desperately needed.
We are told to take care of the poor, the widow, the children. We are instructed and encouraged to take care of the least among us.