I have a better understanding of cold weather than most people, because  ……




……………… I spent two winters in Alaska in the Army, I lived one winter on the streets as a homeless person, and until I was 12 years old, our family had no indoor plumbing and used an “outhouse” toilet.  That pretty much gives me a PhD in the effects of cold on human beings.

In Alaska I saw the temp at minus 50 F for over a week once. At that temp, you splash a hot cup of coffee out the door, and it freezes before it hits the ground. Deep breathing through your mouth can cause serious lung damage.

I was briefly homeless one winter, in the southern USA, where night time lows seldom fell much below freezing. Being without shelter or warm clothes 24/7, even in that mild climate, was an impressive experience. It impressed on me, that a system is immoral and non working, when some are homeless and hungry, while a few have more inherited wealth, than they could ever possibly spend.  

And no, I don’t think Jesus is in favor of unfettered capitalism. Probably not a communist, either. I would guess Jesus to be a Democratic Socialist, like Bernie Sanders, if I had to guess.   

I’m part of the last generation of Americans to grow up with outdoor toilets and no indoor plumbing. We had no central heat, our home was warmed by a fuel oil stove in the living room. My brother and I would often wake up to ice on the inside of our window from our sleeping respiration in our shared bed and bedroom. 

And when natured call us to go potty, it entailed a fifty yard walk out to the little house behind the big house. None of this killed me, but it made me appreciate, that today here in America, I live pretty damn well. And, I appreciate my comforts. 

Robert Service wrote a poem about a guy named Sam Magee, who hated the cold. Follow the link to Youtube to hear Johnny Cash read the poem THE CREMATION OF SAM MAGEE \

posted by Ron Nesler from New Harmony, Indiana

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