It was zero degrees when I left the house at 4:30 p.m. yesterday, but I was determined to get my nephews to the city tree-lighting ceremony downtown. Make sure they wear snowpants and wool socks and hats and that they have both mittens in their pockets, I pleaded with their mom.
That’s because at a long-ago tree-lighting I neglected to put on a hat or, apparently, to pull my coat hood up far enough. Or maybe it was just so cold that year (below zero, can’t remember how far) and my coat was so insufficient that my body had to make an executive decision: The torso is essential; the ears we can live without.
The burning throb of frostbitten earlobes kept me tossing and turning all night. Since then I’ve been more careful (usually) about dressing when I know I’ll be standing around in the cold. I also bought a better coat, essentially a small building made of goose down, for really cold trips like the Talkeetna Bachelors Auction and Wilderness Woman Competition.
I needn’t have worried about the boys, though. The first thing they did at Town Square Park was head straight for a snow pile.