During the semester-long training to become an Outdoor Education student leader at my college, I had to read a book about Sir Ernest Shackleton‘s adventures in the Antarctic. Among my fellow trainees, Shackleton’s name became a byword for the kind of intense outdoor experiences we admired or aspired to. Or just wanted to read about over a cup of hot green tea with honey and whipped cream.
Every so often, I realized that my life isn’t all that Shackleton anymore. Like today. So I decided to pull on my adventure boots.
And then I braved the wilderness that is our street in January.
The garlic we planted in the fall is having a much more Shackletonian winter than I am.
The afternoon sun on the Lube n’ Go is almost beautiful, right? Or is the hypothermia making me delusional? In any case, the other point of this picture is the now pointless railroad tracks. This used to be a huge railroad town and, while we still have a few trains come through, much of the rail infrastructure is gone or unused. Which brings us to:
This is a historic railroad tower we’re using as a storage shed in return for doing some repair and maintenance work. People always ask if the second floor is an apartment. I wish!
The guys’ mission today is to relocate a bunch of shelving from the basement/workshop into this railroad tower. This necessitates plenty of trekking through the freezing tundra.
These are some of the shelves they’re moving:
OK, time for a sartorial digression. You see that flannelly jacket thing? I had never seen one of those until the move to Western New York, but buttoned or zippered, with or without hood, these quilted plaid miracles of casual outerwear are all over the place. I don’t know if they have a name.
And while we’re speaking sartorially, if you’re wondering what a snowbound entrepreneur wears when the shop isn’t open, look no further than this photographic evidence. I scored that fantastic sweatshirt thing from the local Salvation Army, which continues to be my primary resource for personal style until I make my first million by selling green tomato relish, or whatever.
Also, while reviewing these photos, I realized that I neglected any semblance of makeup today. I’m consoling myself with the fact that there were probably days when Sir Ernest Shackleton forgot to wear mascara, too.