Winter of the Winds

Winter-of-the-WindsAs many years I have lived in North Iowa, I can’t remember one that has been as windy and cold as this one. Yes, I remember deep cold quite well and of course the snow storms, but to have so many days of gale force winds so often, appears to be quite abnormal. I was out and about today doing some of my Sunday jobs and I can say there were times when the wind seemed to be coming from all directions. When I looked over to the courthouse this afternoon, it looked like mini-cyclones stirring the the snow in mid-air. I stopped at the home of a dear elderly couple this morning and shoveled their driveway and sidewalks since their general yard person was away. I couldn’t help noticing a strapping young man who was just finishing the sidewalk across the street and glanced my way several times before going back into the house. It’s funny how times have changed. When I was his age, I was always willing to ask someone if they needed help with their shoveling.

As I’ve mentioned before, social media is creating a more pronounced detachment from society. It seems a weekly occurrence for me in finding yet another example of this new form of societal interaction. With this snow and ground blizzards today, I couldn’t help thinking about what life must have been like for all the soldiers who lost their lives in wars. I can’t fathom the absolute misery those people had to endure during the winter out on the battle fields as well as during their marches towards the next zones of conflict. Unless someone has had frostbite, they have little understanding of the intense pain associated with it. Every time is see someone getting out of a car to go into a store with little more than a Spring jacket on, I think to myself, “What would he or she do if their car broke down on a lonely road with nothing in their car to help the keep warm?” When I was a young and brave man, I used go out into the fields in weather like this to experience what I considered at the time a “communion” with the forces of Nature. Believe me, going out in weather like this, one must cover themselves with layers as well as protect their extremities. People don’t realize that the largest amount of heat is released from the upper portion of one’s body—especially the neck and head. Take a look at some of the old photos of wintertime warfare of soldiers. Their heads and faces were well protected. Again, we all must be very thankful during days like today for all the soldiers who gave up their lives in the name of Freedom.

The photo above is one that I snapped this afternoon of the Veterans Memorial in Central Park of Mason City in the midst of another day of our winter of the winds.

Joe Chodur

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