Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cold Stump Blues & Seized-up Leg

Yeah that's how cold it is out here. This morning I thought it was warming up. I think it was only that the wind stopped. The thermometer said 5 degrees.

My prosthetic knee is hydraulic. Never mind that changing shoes is a pain (I usually just pull on rubber overshoes, which work for all but deep snow) and any winter footwear feels heavy and makes my stride drag. Forget falling on the ice the other night. The worst problem is mechanical: my knee starts to freeze. Gets s..l..o..w.. Lags behind. Straightens OK, but sometimes stays just a little bent, the ground is just a little uneven, just a little slippery. Down I go. The only thing that stays hot is my temper.

The hens are laying but the eggs freeze and crack in the nests. Frozen, it's safe to put them in my coat pockets where they click like pool balls. I set them in a bowl on the kitchen counter to thaw. The cracks close up and they're fine, unless I forget and hard boil them.

The days are undeniably longer. The birds are singing again, though I don't often stay outside long to listen. The maples and ashes around my yard sway, creaking and cracking. The cold seeps through my jeans into the hard shell of my socket. FYI, those eggs thaw out faster than my stump when it gets cold. Mid-way up the femur isn't meant to be an extremity. The end gets chilly fast. It's gotten difficult to care that my clever black cat continues to knock out a piece of insulation, worm his way into the ducts & up into the house: yeah, OK, whatever. I'll fix it when the weather warms up. Right now I need a cup of coffee.

A few years ago I went snowmobiling with my cousin in New Hampshire. To combat the temperatures I taped a couple of those hand warmer-packs to my socket before I put on jeans & Carhartts. Worked like a charm for most of the day. 

In the meantime, that heap of clothing in the snow is probably me. If I don't pop up, drag me out of the drift. Ignore the blue language. It's so cold that Darth Vader says, "The gravity is strong with this one." You know he does.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post, Liz. Put right there in the cold winter day even though I write from seventy something degree Florida. Don't like the thought of you falling like that, but very much enjoyed this descriptive vignette.