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  • He worked the gate Sunday morning during the big snow storm. From the moment he opened the big garage doors to the yard, the snow plows moved the accumulated snow into great piles to be hauled away in dump trucks. He spent his five hour shift opening and closing the gates so the plows and trucks could enter and leave the yard.

    By the end of his shift his feet were soaked and his shoes needed a day to dry out. So, for the first time since he was a child, he went to the store for winter boots. He bought a pair that were insulated, thermal lined and waterproof. Imagine being dumb enough to go through twelve Wisconsin winters with no winter boots. He thought back a few winters to where he wore tennis shoes to shovel snow. No excuse! Just plain ignorant.

    Tonight at the gate, the temperature is close to five below zero with a stiff breeze blowing through the gate opening like a wind tunnel. Any exposed flesh is in danger of frost bite.

    The workers on fork trucks look like an invading alien fleet with their bright yellow caps pulled over their black face masks. Snow suits with bib overalls complete the ensemble giving them a Pillsbury doughboy or a Michelin man shape.

    The few times he ventured out to allow customers in or out of the yard, he was bundled up in many layers. From the skin out he wore a hooded sweatshirt; a work shirt (regulations you know); a heavy hooded coat - thick enough to stop an arrow. Add to that a pull over face mask. Down below he wore heavy trousers, heavy socks and the forementioned boots. Snug as a bug in a rug. Warm as toast. In the heated gate shack he would actually get hot enough to purposely step outside for a breath of fresh air every so often.

    But this isn't what he meant to talk about. Tonight he was intrigued by several rows of stock watering tanks that were stacked against the wall on edge. They were still covered in snow from the storm and looked like a column of Star Wars stormtroopers. Or maybe a conga line of abominable snowmen, complete with black faces near the top. See how the bored mind creates from nothing?

    Ciao, Papa

    Picture is my brother eating snow.

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