I woke up this morning, refreshed and renewed from a weekend of fun. Okay, seriously, it was pitch black out and I had just left a nice warm bed to get ready for work. It was cold out and running from the shower to get dressed while freezing, I was wondering what to wear from my ever-so expansive wardrobe for work.
I checked the thermometer and it read 44 degrees. Okay, it really said 44.8 degrees as our Lands End thermometer tells us the temperature in tenths, the barometer pressure down to the hundredth of a millibar and if you press the button on the side, Al Roker's voice tells you what jacket you should wear to work and if you need mittens.
As it was chilly out and I hate the cold, I thought how nice it would be to go back to bed. But as the Dad, you're not allowed to do that (until you earn more sick days, at least). Another one of those little flashback hit me, transporting me back in time to our home in Syracuse. My father had to get up earlier than the rest of us. He would almost always be out the door on the way to work before I got up. If I think it is hard to go to work, I think of what it was like for my Dad. He was a carpenter and had to work no matter the weather. And growing up in Syracuse, that usually meant for some pretty awful working days.
There were nights in the winter when he would return home from work with white fingers. They were practically frozen solid. I looked at them with amazement. I know I was always cold. I hated going out for school and waiting for the bus on a cold street corner. When I got in, I always searched for the seat with the heater underneath it. And in those days, everyone had long hair and I always washed it (in the kitchen sink, of course) and didn't dry it before getting on the bus. It would quite often freeze up outside.
But at least I could warm up. My poor father couldn't as he was working outside on some huge construction project. How he did it, day after day, for over thirty five years, I'll never know. And I never heard him complain about it, not once. He did what he had to do to provide his family with food and shelter. And he did it well. We weren't rich but I never felt poor.
So, on this cold autumn morning in Vermont, I got into my nice warm car, drove to work, parking inside a parking garage and headed up to my nice warm office and didn't complain again all day.