Either my blood has thinned from living five years overseas in climates where the mercury rarely dipped below sixty degrees or I have forgotten how to dress appropriately for different weather conditions, but yesterday (and on Earth Day even), I had a rare experience that I do not wish to duplicate.
This is my story.
On Saturday, my lovely wife, our daughter, and myself were up two hours past the crack of dawn as she (daughter, not lovely wife) had a double-header of a softball game starting at 0900 (or 9:00 am for those who enjoy time in the 12-hour format). However, her coach wanted her and her teammates there by 0815 to practice.
Now this Earth Day in our neck of the Virginia woods started cloudy, cold, and rainy. We dutifully checked our softball league’s website and the county’s field status web page and verified that our daughter’s game had not been cancelled (which, I’ll admit, was quite surprising).
We arrived at the field and as our daughter took her place on the diamond to begin their team’s warmup, I took my ever-handy towel and wiped the rain off the metal bleacher seat and made myself as comfortable as I could for the long twinbill. My lovely wife had brought a cushion and we both had umbrellas to ward off the falling rain.
As for my garb, I had on jeans. I also wore a T-shirt, but over it I was also clad in a grey pullover that had long sleeves. I had no gloves and I also had no jacket with me as I thought the pullover would be enough to keep me warm. Sadly, I was mistaken.
For this morning, the temperature hovered around the mid-50s and the cold rain didn’t help things in the warmth department.
After two hours, the first game ended. I really don’t recall what the score was because my mind was preoccupied with a rather unsettling fact.
I realized I had no feeling in my fingertips.
As the second game started and as the rain continued to fall, I moved myself into our car and turned on the heater. I placed my cold hands in front of the vents in the attempt to thaw my digits out, but this action seemed to have no effect.
After fifteen minutes, I walked back to the stands to chat with my lovely wife and was relieved to see that someone with common sense (and with the authority to do so) had decided to cancel my daughter’s second game.
We all piled into our car and I drove us back to our house. With our car’s heater still at full blast, I gripped the steering wheel willing warmth to creep back into my fingers.
Back at our house, my lovely wife had the suggestion that I step in the shower to warm back up. I took off my clothes – which I realized were more wet than I had actually realized – and stepped into the warm water.
It took about ten minutes, but I was soon rewarded with the “pins and needles” feeling of blood circulating back into my fingers. After that, I was fine and back to a regular temperature.
Like I said at the start, I am not sure if my blood has thinned or if I simply wasn’t paying enough attention to the weather clues outside. Either way, I have learned my lesson.
That’s my story.
P.S. As to why I always have a towel at the ready…well, that’s a story for another day.