A Three Dog Night

Sandy Jordan

Scientist say that Missouri is becoming a tropical rain forest with constantly rising temperatures due to climate change.

My neighbor, in his daily check-in, reported a -2 last night. Is this the right figures for a tropical rain forest? My house this morning is 36 degrees. The snow on my porch is as tall as my dogs. My girlfriend emailed me. She said in the old days it would be “a three dog night.” It would take three hounds to keep you from freezing before dawn. .

My grandpa Joe was pure Swedish. My grandpa Ketchum was pure German. Both are considered cold countries. My parents embraced the cold, enjoyed snow ice cream and all things outdoors. My older siblings were chips off the old ice block. I can vividly remember huddling in a ski cap, heavy coat, mittens,.and boots and shivering as my sister pranced by in majorette boots, short skirt and ear muffs.

They loved it when daddy hooked the sled to the car. The older siblings were in front and back holding me in a tight squeeze of safety. I wanted to be,.under the table with my books and dolls, watching Roy Rogers and Trigger.

Frankly, I believe I inherited my Osage-Cherokee hatred of the cold. I huddle beneath blankets, dogs on my feet and shiver. The furnace is running non-stop, gulping my propane, while a space heater pushes it up to 45 degrees.

I can mentally see my ancestors, blanket wrapped with hands held out to a feeble blaze in their wiki-up. I can see numb fingers sliding along beads counting the days until spring, the warming sun.

Of course there is another warmth. In these two weeks I have been overwhelmed by delivery people bringing things up the slippery ramp to my door, and one inside. My eldest sent me a care package from Schwans and the trucks could not deliver until the 28th but here came the UPS Calvary with my order wrapped in dry ice.

My neighbor has brought me water, repaired my extension cord, brought me my mail, burnt my trash and in the middle of the blizzard, with my phone down, he showed up at my door to see if I was okay. My eldest sent the package and showed up just before the blizzard with twenty gallons of water in jugs. She bought the store out. My son has taken my bills to mail, brought me my medicine and a laugh. I was balancing dogs, and a canvas I was painting on when I saw his bald head in the door window. Coming in, he hands me a whopper drink and a sack of hamburgers. Somehow I juggled it all with only streaks of red on the hamburger wrappers!

Yes, it’s a three dog night and the crocus is covered in snow but there is hope...warmth to come and the nightmare under the trailer to face….I left the water dripping but it did not work. Nothing works in a three dog night.

- Sandy Jordan is a local writer and a founding member of The Crowder Quill literary magazine. She writes a weekly column, Bits and Pieces.