People ask me how I can work out in the freezing cold, when its windy, and the roofs are covered in ice and snow.
I much prefer working in the cold to working in the heat.
People smile when I say that, as if I must be joking.
But I’m totally serious.
Working in the winter cold satisfies my need for adventure, excitement, struggle. Carrying a ladder up another ladder when there is snow everywhere. Scrabbling up a snowy, icy propanel roof. Kicking the snow off my boots before I enter the house. Wearing gloves and a stocking cap, a turtle neck and a fleece vest and my work jacket with my logo stitched into the breast. I sweat.
I’m sweating out there in the freezing cold, just like I do when I ski hard.
I guess I can see why it might be hard for a lot of people to relate to, but I really enjoy it. I like the exercise, feeling useful, seeing my breath in front of my face, the rapport with the customers, how much they appreciate my work.
I like the views from the roofs of the mountains covered in snow.
This afternoon I was working in Arroyo Hondo, out on the mesa, and though I’ve spent lots of time out there throughout the years, something about the landscape, the pre-sunset blue and white mountains, almost took my breath away today. I was carrying a ladder along and I just sort of stopped for a minute and gazed at the mountains, wondering how it could be that I’d never noticed how great they looked from that particular part of the Hondo Mesa, suddenly understanding why somebody would build such a nice house out in the sage brush.
I thought about taking a photo but my only camera is in my phone and it never does justice to big vistas like that, and those photos/, when I take them, always seem a bit anticlimactic.
And its not like its really that cold. It’s Northern New Mexico. It’s not like we’re in Minnesota or something. Here the air is nice and dry. Its not that horrible wet cold like in Chicago where it feels like a million freezing needles penetrating you everywhere. And the other thing is, I’m not outside the whole time. I’m in and out of the house. So its not like this prolonged freeze-fest that never ends.
I try to remember as often as I can that its important to realize how good I’ve got it, living here in one of the most beautiful places in the world, where it gets cold enough in the winter so you can get that snowy winter thrill, and its still fun to work outside.