The company is situated in Canada, in part of the northern latitudes where snow is common during the winter months from as early as November and as late as April.
Oh sure, I hear complaints from some quarters decrying the inconvenience of winter cold and its accumulation of frozen precipitation. I have an answer.
I have yet to meet someone impatiently waiting at a bus stop (or elsewhere), shivering in minus degree weather (be it Celsius or Fahrenheit), enslaved to the schedules of public transit (or otherwise), who opts for the choice when presented this way.
I simply ask them to remember the swarms of mosquitoes in summer, from the bloody biting black flies in May and June to the deer and horse flies which draw blood and hurt the rest of summer, and then I ask, “Would you rather have that AND six-inch cockroaches crawling all over the place… or this?”
Not once in the decades I have asked the question has anyone (albeit usually female but that’s besides the point) answered that they would prefer six-inch cockroaches and biting insects over winter.
When they answer predictably this way, I say, “Isn’t this great, it’s killing all those bugs!” To which I usually get an acknowledgement, but one clearly based on the better of two bad options.
So winter is like any cold, even cold viruses, in that it builds immunity. And just as a cold with runny nose and coughing is inconvenient but not usually debilitating, so is winter. It build courage I say…
Cold immersion is all the rage amongst the longevity crowd. My son and Chicken Executive Officer assistant has been known to don my winter boots and nothing more than the underwear he sleeps in to let the girls our of their coop and start their day.
Daughter Charlie is not as brave thank heavens, but, according to her mother, is chronically underdressed.
I can get some of that by wandering outside the main offices in a T-Shirt to visit the workers laying eggs to experience it. I will often linger, finding something to do, grabbing a shovel with bare hands that we leave by the fence and shoveling some of the snow impeding the hen’s and rooster’s paths.
If I arrive soon after Howie has let them out I might observe the Hustling Hens as they scoot around, nary a sound among them save for a stifled cluck here and there.
They defer to their defender, the main rooster who is first or second out and checks things to ensure the coast is clear.
Once satisfied, Sir Omelet will signal in the time honoured tradition of all worthwhile roosters. The Celts are said to have believed the rooster a mystical animal as it was first to be heard after a battle.
At the company, things get a little louder as the Hustling Hens start to scratch and dig, through snow if they have to, grateful for the two pine trees in their enclosure and the protected grounds underneath.
Once he has saluted the day gloriously in this way, sons of Sir Omelet, Red and Sir Omelet Jr., might give it a go, but never before giving their father first voice.
In some ways it is solemn, a ritual, a bit like the ringing of a church bell for an early Christian mass.
Some years ago, my Missus insisted I find myself a four wheeler with a plow to more quickly do my driveway. She went so far as to buy it for me. How many gals do that?
When it works it works well enough, the machine I bought I mean, and I can do the driveway in half the usual time. Next machine I get will be fuel injected, is all I’ll say.
I have a snowblower too and it’s a good thing I do. I keep a quarter mile stretch of grass cut in summer encircling the company offices to facilitate walking and exercising. In winter, the snowblower keeps this area clear for me and chief of security, Remington Cabela, as we patrol to make sure all is in order.
Some time of day will see me tossing a twenty-pound ball ahead of us just for fun. Remington has gotten good at avoiding where it lands and has quickly trained me to be very careful.
But it is the end of the driveway that garners my Missus’ attention.
Although I got her winter tires and change them for her faithfully each November and April, she lacks four-wheel drive and clearance.
So out she goes to shovel it like the indomitable Canadian gal that she is. And she never ever asks for help unless it’s over two feet.
She just takes care of it.
As you can probably tell, she doesn’t give a damn about “cold immersion,” in any form whatsoever.
This is the day…