Saturday, February 18, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 48th Installment

bullets are gone, then what?” I demanded, on a roll. “Business is business and our profit margin has to be absolute – Santa can’t factor into business.”

We gathered up our little profit margins, tossed them in the barrel, and bounced cross country over to the first free–standing trap. Sure enough, there were four jackrabbits caged there. “Okay ‘mister all–business,’ how do we get to these jackrabbits? Huh? If we lift the cage to crawl in, the jackrabbits will escape,” Russ kept the argument going.

Stalling for time I said, “Give me a minute to think.” He knew I had nothing.

 “Okay, if we …mmm. . .” I walked clear around the trap fence “maybe – OKAY WE SHOOT THEM!” I finally yelled in desperation.

Winter that year got even colder! Officially, the weather service at the Idaho Falls Airport reported -32 below January 12th 1962. In Hamer, located 35 miles north of Idaho Falls and on the edge of the Arco desert, it was usually eight to ten degrees colder.

Just looked at the thermometer; it reads forty below. I don’t think I’ve heard of it getting that cold here,” Vernon told us.
We delayed the milking about an hour hoping for a temperature increase, then, slowly layered up our winter wear. “This is going to hurt,” I said.

Russ looked at me the way he does when he thinks I’m looney tunes, “That’s a strange thing to say.”

I explained to prove I was coherent, “Everything hurts when it’s this cold. My body hurts, any exposed skin hurts, it hurts to breathe, my runny nose freezes, and the surface of my eyeballs even hurt. I’ve read that steel breaks easier at forty below; someone even told me that if you spit, it will freeze before it hits the ground, and you can actually hear your breath crackle when you exhale!”

Really? Cool,” Russ was looking more interested.

Let’s try right now,” I said, as I reached for the door.

Tut, Tut,” was all I needed to hear to remind me of the rule: ‘always milk the cows on time.’ Russ and I gathered up the milking machines that we stored in the house during winter and headed out to the old barn. There was a slight breeze from the north, the home of the ‘Polar Express.’ Some people are afraid of heights, others afraid of water or tight places; I’m afraid of the cold. When I walk outside in -40 below temperature, it envelops me just like going under water, and just like an aqua phobia, the panic becomes the foremost emotion. It clouds your judgment. You can’t think straight, and you want to fight or just lie down and give up. I can feel each breath going down with a tingle of slight pain; to me it’s like suffocation or a liquid. It is terrifying, and even though I know better, I panic

500 more words tomorrow


Related Articles


Post a Comment


Powered by Blogger.