Denise Anderson Layering for a trip to town


It was cold outside and I mean, really cold. It was the result of a Polar vortex, something I had never heard of in my life. It apparently existed but I never knew what it was, except that it meant bone-snapping cold.

“Please come with me Mom,” Giselle pleaded. “I really want to go.”

I said I would go, but I told her she was spoiled.

I got my gear together. I definitely needed my coveralls so I dug them out of the closet. I only use them in extreme weather situations because I feel like a little kid wearing a snowsuit or one of the wobbly toys that never falls down. They just wobble around.

I needed my gloves. And my other pair of gloves. I needed a scarf and a fleece. Then I added my heavy winter coat and my cute pink stocking cap. I was already wearing hiking boots.

“You look like Ralphie’s brother in “A Christmas Story,” my husband said. “Remember when he gets all dressed up and then falls down in the snow and can’t get back up?”

Giselle laughed. Then Daryl laughed. I didn’t, because I was sure that’s what I did look like. The only part of me showing was my face.

“You also look like you’re ready to go chase cows in a blizzard,” Daryl said.

I nodded. This was my farming and chasing cows attire. I wore it to the sale barn and of course, to go out and chase cows in a blizzard.

I told Giselle we needed to get in the car before I melted.

We went out to the car. I opened the driver’s door and tried to get in. I couldn’t lift my right leg high enough to make the step. I tried to boost my rear end up onto the seat and swing around to the front. I couldn’t do that either.

“Do you need help over there?” Giselle asked.

She had opted for long underwear under her jeans and wool socks with cowboy boots instead of her coveralls, but she had them with her. She was wearing a couple of layers under her coat and like me, had a scarf, two pairs of gloves and a stocking cap.

“No,” I replied, “I can get it.” I eventually did, but I did feel like Ralphie’s brother in the snow. I just had too much bulk.

We headed to town and parked at the elevator.

“Ready?” Giselle asked. I nodded. It was too cold to talk.

We walked two blocks up the street and stopped. Our destination wasn’t the sale barn, but the street itself. She had talked me into going to a country music concert in 20 degree weather with a biting north wind that brought the wind chill down to -5 degrees.

We stood shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of other concert goers and I was surprisingly comfortable except for the fact that my hiking boots were made for hiking, not standing.

“See, it’s not so bad, is it?” Giselle asked.

I shook my head. Surprising, it was better than the Selena Gomez concert we went to a few years ago when I thought I was going to sweat to death. At least at this concert, I wasn’t dripping body fluids onto the people around me.



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