Well, it took a while but the cold weather has finally reached us. One of the main criteria for this job is to not only work on holidays but to also be willing to work in any sort of weather condition. As I was cleaning the farmyard yesterday morning, my trusty Friday adult volunteer told me that the thermometer at her house was at 15 degrees Fahrenheit when she left, and I believed her because that’s about how it felt. I was very appreciative that she had the forethought to bring a slotted spoon and tongs with her so that we could get the ice out of the water buckets without torturing our hands! Normally we would either have to dump all of the water (which isn’t in favor of conservation) or use our fists to break the ice and then brave having to pull all of it out with our bare hands. Lucky for me I got some awesome water-proof gloves for the holidays and now busting the ice with my fist is actually kind of fun.
I must admit, my first really cold morning in the farmyard when I was a part-time keeper four years ago seemed about as miserable as it could get. Although I had actually dealt with much worse weather before when I was in Bryce Canyon watching prairie dogs, somehow that morning just felt like the worst ever. Kent was the unfortunate keeper that had to put up with me as I could barely move due to my (seemingly) frozen feet and hands and overall pity for myself.
But it is amazing what your body grows accustomed to over time, and now four years later that same kind of morning isn’t too much different from any other if you take away having to blow your nose more often. Sure it is still cold, but you just get used to it, just like Kent had gotten used to it when I was new and wondered how he was managing so well on that brisk winter morning.
After working in all kinds of different weather conditions, I’ve learned what really is the worst weather to work in and it makes me appreciate the other things more. For instance, working while it is cold doesn’t seem nearly as bad when you compare it to working in the rain when it is just above freezing. I’ll take being cold over being wet and cold any day!