November 30, 2013 § 6 Comments
Zero degrees this morning, the temperature of nothingness, thermometer flatlined, the gateway to true cold. I milked while Penny fed out, tucking my bare fingers into my pockets every few dozen squirts or so, trying to stay ahead of the pain. Out of nowhere, I was visited by the memory of Fin as a young boy, how he’d come into the barn on cold mornings to warm his hands in the downy juncture of Apple’s leg and body. Her “armpit,” he called it.
After chores, I took the boys to check their traps; they’re trolling for muskrat in the river down on the flats. For 45 minutes, I stood in the sun and watched as they chopped holes in the ice, dunking their bare hands to retrieve and set traps. They do this every single morning, and far more often than not, the traps are empty. This does not seem to phase them. Their enthusiasm remains high.
Honestly, I did not expect such perseverance from my sons. It’s been six weeks since trapping season opened, and they have yet to miss a day. Not a single friggin’ day. As I stood there shivering and stomping my feet and swinging my arms and trying to stop myself from asking the fellas to hurry the hell up, I considered my sons’ commitment and I thought about how often I draw inspiration from them. And then I thought (and I was recalling yesterday’s post as I did so) now, there’s something to be thankful for.
So: Thanks, guys.