A few million other people and I have been mumbling those words for weeks now. The only one who’s not buying it is my dad.
“The winter of 1934 was worse than this. If you live through something like that, only then you can complain.”
I’ve looked it up. That was a cold year with record lows that have yet to be met again. The Great South Bay froze over and my father at 12 played hockey with his friends on it. A priest who haled from a northern climate had taught them to put duct tape at the end of their hockey sticks. This was in case someone fell in. Then the sticks would be taped together and pushed towards the hole for the poor soul to hang on to as he is dragged out. As luck would have it, my father was that soul. He remembers there being about a foot of air between the water and the bottom of the ice. Just enough room for his head to bop up and assess where he was. That’s how he knew where to swim to get back to the hole. His teammates above the ice had already taken the steps taught to them to make a successful rescue. How my father was able to get back home without catching his death of a cold I’ll never know.
My father trained my sisters and I never to go skating without a hockey stick with tape around the end. We weren’t as athletic as my father nor as adventurous. We looked a tad bit foolish carrying a hockey stick around and I have no doubt the ponds we skated on weren’t any deeper than our knees. Still, we were ready and trained in case of emergency.
The photos in this post I took yesterday in Central Park. They look far more foreboding than the park actually was. The days have been averaging 18 degrees and it seems only the tourists are venturing out into the park. I was there again this morning cross-country skiing and sadly, my shoe fell apart in the midst of it. Granted, it is a 30 year old shoe. Yet, I may be able to rescue it for the season with a bit of glue. Fingers crossed. I love that these are my only problems!
We still have two months between now and the end of winter. I am hoping that 1934 remains the coldest one on record.