It’s the night of Jan. 2, I’m sitting in a San Antonio hotel, the Beltwide Cotton Conferences get under way tomorrow, and I’m waiting on room service to deliver a pint of strawberry ice cream. Hey, I’m in a hotel all by myself, I’m an adult, and nobody’s going to know. Right?
It’s freezing outside. Yes, this is San Antonio, TEXAS, but freezing is a warmup for me. It was 5 degrees at 4:15 this morning as I scraped three days’ accumulated frost, a sprinkling of snow — and my knuckles — before crawling into my truck for a short ride to the airport.
I stopped at the end of the street to finish the job after discovering that the 10-inch by 10-inch hole I’d scraped was an inadequate orifice from which to view the highway. By the time I got back in the truck, the dashboard heat gauge had moved approximately — nowhere — and the air blowing onto the windshield was only minimally warmer than the air outside (well, maybe I exaggerate).
A leather jacket, turtleneck, scarf, jeans, and gloves are inadequate protection against 5 degree temperatures. I may have mentioned this before: I DON’T LIKE COLD WEATHER! The trip to the airport was uneventful, if driving with fingers that feel like they have needles stabbing into them can be considered a non-event.
The airport was cold. The moveable walkway from the terminal to the plane was cold. So was the plane, which never got warm from there to Atlanta. The Atlanta airport was cold. They kept opening doors all along the terminal to let people on and off planes. I’m glad I don’t have to pay their heating bill.
The plane from Atlanta to San Antonio was cold. Don’t they make heaters for those things? The cab from the airport to the hotel was warm — warmest I’d been all day — and the outside temp was above 30 degrees, a veritable balmy afternoon.
Checking e-mail later in the afternoon, my good friend and colleague, Hembree Brandon, reminded me of a San Antonio trip many years ago, when the temperature dipped into the low teens, and several of us decided to walk to a highly regarded Mexican restaurant. I appreciated that memory from my 27th floor hotel room, with the heat going full blast. Exploring San Antonio is not on my itinerary this week — unless the weather improves.
This second day of the new year has been long, cold, and instructive: I should have worn my heavier coat — less style, more comfort. I should have donned the stylish new hat Pat gave me for Christmas. And it inspired my New Year’s resolution: I will never, ever book another flight at 6:00 in the morning on the coldest day of the year.
The ice cream was delicious.
Here’s hoping 2018 brings you prosperity, happiness — and warmth.