Well Below Average

Several times this past week, my husband had to attend rehearsal for his change of command ceremony. Day One, he told me how he forgot his “snivel gear.” Snivel gear is that which you wear to keep from sniveling at the weather: long underwear, ear muffs, rabbit-fur lined hats, battery-heated socks. Day Two, he told me how the snivel gear he wore was insufficient and he needed to wear more (ear muffs are not Army-approved, just so you know).

This information churned in my head for several hours before something finally occurred to me:

“Hey, are you saying that the change of command is outside?”

Apparently, changes of command are almost always outside. My husband sometimes forgets that I’m not in the Army, too.

Yesterday, I dug out gloves and hats for all the kids (OK, honestly, I had Fritz do this while I patiently and calmly removed tangles from my daughters’ hair…OK, honestly, I had Fritz do this while I not so patiently and calmly removed tangles from my daughters’ hair). I made sure everybody had their winter coats ready. One argumentative child felt that his fleece jacket was sufficient.

“I’ll be fine, Mom,” he said. “It’s nice outside.” And it was nice: nearly 50 degrees and sunny.

“Yes, it’s nice for running around and playing. It’s not so nice for sitting still on metal bleachers for an hour. Wear your coat, ditch the ball cap, and bring your gloves and knit hat.”

He argued; I insisted. He argued, and I said he wasn’t coming if he didn’t dress the way I told him to, end of story. I’m all for having children learn life’s lessons naturally, but this was not an occasion to deal with a sniveling child. Snivel gear (anti-snivel gear?) was mandatory. I even brought a blanket for Mary.

I left early to make sure we were early, and I had enough time to run into the grocery store for a few things. As I dashed in the warm sunshine, I thought surely we were overdressed. It was so pleasant in that parking lot. The sun was bright, and there was no wind. It was a beautiful day.

Fifteen minutes later, we arrived at the field for the ceremony. I left my own gloves in the car, because it was so nice. We walked around the covered seating area to find my husband, and then IT hit me: the wind.

I swear there was a special wind making machine facing the bleachers. The windless parking lot of the grocery store felt wonderful. But this place was frigid. I couldn’t believe we were in the same zip code (and we were perhaps 4 blocks away). I immediately sent Fritz back to the car for my gloves (I guess he was glove boy yesterday, poor thing). Oh, and the bleachers were in the shade, too.

And that argumentative son? Right away, he said, “You were right, Mom.” But not totally right. “You should have had me wear BOTH the fleece and the coat.” He was right about that.

Average temperatures for this area in February are in the mid-sixties. So far, we’ve not been anywhere near that. I’m not complaining, really, I’m not. I’m just thankful I don’t have to sit in shady, windy bleachers every day. Keep me on the leeward side of buildings in the sun.

6 thoughts on “Well Below Average

  1. If it were 50 degrees here, my kids would be running around outside with no coats, short sleeves, and no shoes, proclaiming that it was beautiful outside.

  2. Oh, trust me, my kids are getting weird looks from the locals because they think it's warm enough to be barefoot. I promise you, your kids would not have been happy in that wind.

  3. it amuses me to see how different people from different places react to local weather in this army life.

    i'm originally from MD, so when it snowed in GA last week and people were F.r.e.a.king out over 4-6 inches, i just thought it was a nice, fun time to go play in the snow with my kid, esp considering we've been in cali for 5 years and have seen no snow. and ofcourse, it was all melted the next day!

    then, when its a “balmy” 42 with a breeze, friends of ours who just got out of alaska are letting their kids go with sandals and no hats! to them, 42 is summatime! :-p

  4. Last week during the blizzard Will had a hissy fit because the Eagle Scout project he was helping with was cancelled (we had no electricity so I didn't KNOW it was cancelled, but I assured him it was) They finally met on Saturday and had to dig out the bench at the church they were replacing (the boy was days away from his 18th birthday so he had to get it finished) before they started work. Will was out there for 6 hours and only called home once for fresh gloves. No wind, but 2 feet of packed snow to deal with all day. I'm just glad he doesn't mind the cold, I would have called it a day after 30 minutes.

  5. Congratulations Household Six! I hope this time goes smoothly for you…and I got a chuckle out of the story…impatiently combing narles out of my girls hair is a frequent occurance around here too. My Peter has been refusing to wear his coat this whole last week too. It's still way too cold for this and I dread the looks of “what's wrong with your mother for letting you out like that.”

  6. We were in PA this weekend for a family event. SOOOO glad to be back in GA with our “balmy” weather! Why DOES the army like things outside so much? I always wondered at that.

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