I truly hope that everyone living here in Mason City and North Iowa take extra precautions these next days as the temperatures continue to drop. I went out today to place a sign rider on one of my signs and had to take my gloves off for about five minutes. Oh mercy! I couldn’t believe how quickly my fingers became numb from the cold. I don’t want to sound like a mother hen, but I encourage everyone to make certain your furnace filters are changed and the hot and cold air vents are flowing. The more free air flows, the less the furnace has to work. If you have animals outside, please make sure they can get out of the wind and have enough dry bedding as well as enough food and above all, water. We also must work on keeping our spirits up during these days. It seems sometimes, the cold creeps into our consciousness and causes us to be more negative and dark-sided. I’m sure you all can think of ill-thought remarks made by likely you or others over this past week. I have clients who live in the Sun Belt and have spoken with them recently. Believe me, they don’t remember well enough the bite of the cold unless they’ve been recently bitten. During the Summer we remember Winter in a vague sense and indeed forget how much the cold stings. I empathize with all the people who have to work outside during these days. Yes, you do get used to it to a degree but there is always the extra steps to be taken to keep from actually freezing. I spoke with a client who lives near Duluth last week and she said, “I can’t remember getting this much snow so early. And between the snow, when the days are sunny, I find that my hand gets stuck to the outside door knob.”
She said that is how she can tell whether it’s cold or bitterly cold. I have a client who is secretly an angel living in Mason City who mentioned her concern about homeless people living here and wondering if they would have shelter. I most LOVE humans who can step out of themselves and become selfless. One of my relatives is without heat due to an aged furnace breaking down who’s at this time burning wood in a pot-bellied stove in his basement. I called him today to make sure everything is OK with his keeping warm. His new furnace will be installed tomorrow so hopefully all will be well. I worry more about people who are on fixed incomes and can’t seem keep up with the diminished value of the dollar. My wood-burning relative said something to me today that I will never forget. His comment was, “Why is it that people who have a great deal of money think everyone else should have the same?” Now that was a statement! In counter-balance on the positive side, I have a very dear and loving Mother whom I’ve grown to understand quite well. If any of us as children ever asked her for money, she would bristle and place us under hours of interrogation; but, if she believed someone was in need, she would give freely without question. That is the mark of a person who has learned how to step out one’s shoes and walk in another’s.
I managed to capture a photo of Jack Frost doing some of his artwork on a window today. How lovely, but how cold!