Friday, December 10, 2010

Heat Leech

It is not as if it was 100 degrees one day and 24 the next; as the months passed-by the days progressively grew shorter, the nights longer and both, colder.

The last week or two I have been unable to pretend the cold didn’t bother me and have added ‘Fleece, Jacket – Cold Weather’ to my daily wear. I probably could/should have been wearing it sooner, but there is something about the weird light green color and the slightly velour texture which makes it look to me like it is made from skinned Muppet monsters.

It used to be my morning breakfast routine was a Met-RX power bar (the apple one is like eating a slice of pie) and a couple of waters. Now, to help keep warm, I have two packets of the very yummy organic instant oatmeal my sister-in-law sent me and some nice herbal tea from Corbin-kin in Wisconsin – where they know cold.

Just before we moved from the last of the heat to the cool, a soldier from another unit transferred into our section to help address a personnel deficit due to soldiers’ term of service ending and their going back to the States.

Our resident harlequin jested how it was nice and warm until this new guy showed-up and brought all the chilly weather, “Wasn’t cold until you got here, it must be all your fault.”

For some reason, probably my age making me decrepit, it brought to my mind a memory of being a wee little guy laying flat-out on my belly reading a comic-book on our dark-green, up-raised paisley patterned, 1970’s couch.

Wearing just my tighty-whities and deeply into the world of the Fantastic Four when a weight landed on my butt and legs followed immediately by two zombie-hands latching onto my back – instantly forming ringed patches of eldritch frost.

“Ahhhhgh!”, I remember yelling.

“Oh, you are sooo warrrrrrmmmmmm,” my bloodless Mother crooned behind me.

“Heat leech! Heat leech! Da-a-a-ad, help, hellllp!”, I cried out.

“Ohh, no,” he yelled back from their bedroom, “you are on your own; she will be after me next.”

Moments later, with all my youthful warmth and vitality drained, Mom got up and begin searching for her next victim.

My younger brothers, warned from my original out-cry, turned off their bedroom light – making their defensive line of scattered caltrops of toys and such practically impenetrable.

I found enough energy to get to my bed and shiver myself back to somewhere around 98.6.

While it is pretty chilly here, and it takes a while for the combined efforts of the sun and our small heaters to warm up our work tent, I count my blessings when I think about my Dad living alone with, and completely at the glacial mercy of, the Heat Leech.


Thank you Donna Doll for the fantastic Hickory Farms package; summer sausage, cheese and spicy mustard made for some crumb-covered happy faces.

Eastside High School Interact Club in Covington, GA sent a nice and appreciated holiday card.

Carla M. (Wisconsin Corbin-kin) spearheaded a collective effort to send great Care packages with herbal tea, jerky, trail mix and very festive decorations. Thank you also to Larry & Debra B., Brooke S. and Rick for the very thoughtful greeting cards.

Angela G. from Corbin(!), KY, sent several cards and email notes; always a heart-warmer. Still nothing from Logan (dog gone mail!) but I promise to let him know when it arrives.

Mary R. from Saugus, CA, generously included a calling card within her thoughtful holiday card.

Thank you Hillary S. in PA for the colorful holiday card and the fantastic Care package; it was devoured by the troops (the care package, not the card.)

My sister-in-law, Beth, rescued me by sending a can-opener and nail clippers so no cans of tuna are safe and my toe nails no longer quite look like they belong to a cadaver.

Barb, from Warmth for Warriors, sent a very nice hand-knitted beanie-cap I wear at night in my room as we are not allowed civie clothes out and about; I will definitely be taking it back to the States for wear the years to come.