The car wound down the mountain side strip of asphalt banked on both sides with mounds of plowed snow. With only the dashed line down the middle to remind me it was a road, my mind believed I was in a bobsled racing down an Olympic tube on my way to victory.
It was a victory in a way. Earlier we had climbed the mountain to a farm located on a flat spot where the land was white and lonely. Split rail fences in need of spring repair were stark against the few feet of snow randomly carved with animal paths. Melissa parked the car then we both just stared at the car’s thermometer. 12 degrees BELOW ZERO (Fahrenheit).
It is 4 days till spring and our friends in New England were complaining. “This was the worst winter in my memory” was heard often as we traveled from farm to farm. Seasoned faces appeared more weathered this time with fine, red veins lacing the cracked cheeks. The sparkle in the eye normally found in these proud New Englanders was faint.
Steam rises off the river covered in ice and snow. Only a rivulet can be seen formed by thick layers of ice. My hands and toes are gaining their feeling back. Dipping bare hands in a water bucket to do my job is made possible only by using the warm water drawn from the farm house kitchen sink. That, and thinking about the weather back home in Florida.
My mind drifts as I think of the time I lived in this kind of winter. A time when all work and play was done in subfreezing temperatures. A retrospect needed when my body becomes numb – that this is only temporary.
Finding a wonderful, quaint restaurant in a one crossroad town places icing on a cake made by people grateful for our services on a beautiful, but cold day. I decide that no, today wasn’t cold. Not with the warmth of the people we see. And my retrospect of yesterday dissolves as I devour my delicious meal of blueberry pancakes smothered in REAL Vermont maple syrup. Ahh….
From the road, this is Doc T for “Travels With Doc T”