Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Train With Stops At Every Station


January in New Jersey.  There is nothing of which I am aware that slaps the Christmas hangover snot out of people faster than bitter cold January weather.  It never ceases to amuse me that here in the State of Concrete Gardens, temperatures below freezing in December are "Christmas-like" whereas similar temperatures in January are "phucking cold".  Newsflash Slick:  They were phucking cold in December too.  You were simply too jacked up on visions of sugar plum fairies and other Noel-related nonsense to notice.  But for the Christmas-specific brain cloud under which you were living, you would have realized that you could not stand the weather then either.  

Although I have no heart I am not immune to the effects of cold weather.  Thus far, 2015 has come in like a polar bear attempting to jab an icicle up the collective arses of people throughout New Jersey and - based upon the national maps I have seen - essentially the majority of the continental United States.  Me, I have it pretty easy.  I have a climate-controlled roof over my head at the house that I presently call home.  As someone who works indoors I have a climate-controlled roof over my head the job that - based upon the amount of time I spend there - is my de facto home.  

I need merely to muster the resolve and the grit to endure the fifty to one hundred foot walks between my car and my home and/or my office.  It is an undertaking that must barely misses clearing the bar of Herculean but somehow I manage.  A lifetime ago, I worked outdoors with my older brother Kelly.  You want to experience cold?  Try building a six-story building in Hoboken located a block away from the Hudson River this time of year and working ten hour days doing it.  

For those of us who are - as I am - fortunate enough to both live and work indoors, at least while you are in my presence, do both of us a favor and STFU about the weather.  I would wager that the odds are great that six months from now, when the calendar reads "July 11, 2015" and it is sufficiently hot and humid so that you work up a sweat just blinking, you shall be among those whining about how phucking hot it is.  There are those who may welcome your whining.  I am not among them.  

Days like these, I keep a good thought for anyone who finds himself or herself homeless.  The world is a pretty cold and foreboding place when you have nothing - even on a hot, humid July day.  I cannot fathom what ceaseless exposure to the frigid January air does to one's well-being, be it physical or psychological especially when the homeless person is not an adult but a child.  

Days like these, I also keep a good thought for the men and women who earn a living outdoors - whether in construction, public works, public safety or any one of the countless other professions that require at least a portion of one's workday to be spent in less than ideal weather conditions.  Bridges will still get constructed, criminals will still get apprehended and fires will still get extinguished by men and women who place the needs of others above their own feelings of discomfort.  A young man will still walk one hundred and five miles with a fifty-pound pack on his back to raise money for - and awareness of - those who are in need of both.

It has been said that a picture is worth one thousand words...

....the remaining nine hundred and ninety-two are "Reader's Choice". 


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