My Attempt to Prepare for 44-Degree Weather
Winter is knocking. I'm not ready.
I don't have any cold winter gear. That's what I've been working on today. A good friend told me this morning that I may be able to go to the Hope Center, which is a city-run resource center here in Charleston, to get some thermal underwear. She said a lady at the center gave her some long johns just the other day. Hearing her say that, I knew that walking a couple of miles to the center was going to be one of the things on my to do list today.
And that's exactly what I did after I had coffee and waffles at the Charleston Area Senior Center around 9AM. So I walked out to the Hope Center and asked about the possibility of getting some thermal underwear bottoms. I have enough layers of tops to keep my upper body warm but only one pair of pants to put on for bottoms and they are summer-weight cargo pants. The lady there told me that they had not been given any cold weather clothes yet this year to hand out. I guess the thermals my friend got must have been left over from last year? Yeah, right.
Anyway, I went to another resource center and today was not the day they handed out clothes. Another swing. Another miss. So I ventured on to city central to see my best friend who works at a bank next to the library. She is always working on something but often takes time out of her busy routine to listen to my ramblings. I told her the story of my attempts to find a way to stay half way warm tonight and tomorrow morning.
Guess what? She's taking time out of her day, right now, to drive to Wally World to get me some thermal underwear bottoms, and knowing her, probably some other things so I won't be shivering all night and morning. She is a true friend and a genuinely good person.
I'm about to shed happy tears just knowing she cares that much about my well being.
Here’s what I need in order to prepare for the cold.
A thick, knitted toboggan hat does a lot to help the body retain heat and deflect the bitter wind. It doesn't have to have to be pricey. Sometimes I've picked up decent ones for less than $5.00. A top-of-the-line toboggan, as far as I'm concerned, might go for around ten bucks.
When my old arthritic hands get really cold they are practically useless. Even after I get out of the cold and into a warm environment it still takes about 10 minutes for them to regain function.
Thick dry woolen socks are the key to avoid getting your toes frostbitten. It's not going to get super cold here in Charleston but having toes that are so cold you can't even feel them is no fun. No fun at all.
My ideal coat would be one that blocks the wind, has a removable liner, repels the rain, and comes down to my knees at least.
A vent on the back is also a plus.
A scarf prevents gusts of cold wind from creeping down my chest and back.
Hot Hands Hand Warmers
They're cheap, light weight, and provide hours of long lasting heat. You can put them in your pockets, gloves, shoes, etc. I know that when I was in Asheville, NC, in the winter and someone gave me a pack of hot hands I wanted to give them a hug.
Please consider keeping a few in your glove compartment so you can toss one (or ten) to a homeless person standing on the street corner shivering and turning blue while you're waiting for the light to turn green.
If you decide to buy some hot hands to give away to folks in you area, grab a cheap flashlight while you are at. I bought a little plastic flashlight from Walmart a year ago for one dollar and it's still working. I haven't even had to replace the AAA batteries once. Flashlights come in so handy to have if you are facing homelessness. Just try and find a package of two Tylenol in the bottom of a backpack without one!
So that’s my list. Can you help me get equipped?
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