A salute to those who brave the cold weather

By Patrick Fisher

There’s been a lot happening over the last couple of weeks, but for the last few days everyone has been talking about the cold weather.

While there is still only a little snow on the ground it definitely has felt like winter. The sub-zero temperatures have reminded some of us that it’s still winter and we still live in Minnesota. During the cold snap I went out to get some pictures. I found a few people out and about, dressed appropriately, but still taking care of business or being active, whether they were walking or skating at the outdoor hockey rink.

One thing that struck me was the people who go out with little or no fanfare and still do their jobs, no matter what the weather. Among them are postal carriers, attendants at service stations, the garbage collectors, city employees and many others. With the recent very cold temperatures most of them bundled up in a few extra layers of clothing.

The nice thing about layers is that if you get a little too warm, you can unzip your jacket to let out some heat, although with the temperatures recently I don’t think many people did that.

Dressing in layers is important. A story I read years ago drove home the point. It was about a postal carrier and the layers of clothing she would wear when doing her route in the winter. A picture with the story showed the many items she would put on. She also mentioned that it was important to keep moving to stay warm.

Making sure you’re dressed for winter is something I can understand as I’ve done my share of skiing in cold weather and I did some winter camping as a Boy Scout. It’s also important on those long car drives, because sometimes a car can only pump out so much heat.

Over the years I’ve seen some things that people have done to show how cold it can get. Things such as leaving a banana out to freeze and then using it as a hammer or cracking an egg open and letting it freeze. The most impressive one I ever saw was someone taking a cup of warm water and throwing the water up in the air and having it immediately crystallize into snow.

For some of us the cold weather has been an inconvenience, but the people who go out continuously to make sure you get a letter, or to fill up your gas tank, or to make sure that the city keeps running, they live with the differences in temperature each day. While this may be old hat to most of them I’ve gained more appreciation for what they do.

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