Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Yeah, but it's a dry cold ..."

If you're easily offended - STOP READING NOW ... I'm going to talk about my maternal uncle - known as Drake, and use the terms he used, and that I am known to use from time to time ...

Uncle Drake, the eldest of the seven children born to my maternal Grandparents prided himself on being a SHIT-DISTURBER ... he used to quip that he wanted to be buried face down so the world could "kiss my ass" ... and underneath the crusty and crumudgeonly exterior beat a heart of gold ... he was far from perfect, but he had a heart that was big and generous and loving ... he just liked to stir the pot ... (seems to be a familial trait ... along with the loss of hair !!??)

But what I remember about Uncle Drake on days like this, with the windchill close to minus 50, was his reflection on the time he spent working on oil derricks in Southern Alberta, and logging in south-eastern BC ... the temps the winters he spent in Alberta bottomed out in the minus 50's BEFORE the windchills kicked in ... (My late-father in law used to muse about the same winters he spent in the Chilcotin ranching - his descriptions of cold matched those of Uncle Drake, though the two never met ...)

Drake once described the experiences of watching steel snap in the cold, and oil derricks collapsing as girders shattered and snapped in the extreme cold ... he ended the story by saying:

"Then I get home to Ontario and people would say, 'yeah, but that's the dry cold of the prairies. You don't feel it the way you do here. The damp cold of minus 20 here is like minus 50 out there ...' "

Drake would grin and say - "Dry cold or damp cold, when it's cold enough to snap steel, it's just fuckin' cold !!"

Today was a Drake kind of day ... it was just F-----' cold !!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved this, expletives and all! What a great story that brought a smile, stay warm and take care..