Holy cold and snow!! BUT, I guess what do you expect in the middle of March in Northwestern Pennsylvania! Spring is clearly NOT here yet, but it is soon to come! And hey, we really can’t complain considering the very mild winter we were blessed with! Record breaking 70 degrees or something! Unheard of, literally! Yet we still find ourselves complaining on the cold, cold days!
I don’t always want to come off as Miss Positive-Pants or something, I am just one who tries to practice looking on the brighter side of things.Over the years, I have come to find, complaining, over thinking and and getting upset over the “little things,” gets you nowhere, but in a bad mood, FAST! And we all know where that leads! Misery loves company, and you attract what you put out! Think about it.
On days like this, it is ROUGH climbing out of your nice warm bed, not to mention brushing your car off in the brutality of snowing, blowing wind in your face. The roads are slick and coffee and hot chocolate dampen the blow, but just aren’t cutting it.
The very end of winter is always the hardest, when you’re body is craving that sunshine from the inside out, and you get those “teaser days” and you can just smell it in the air!!
I’d like to share with you a moment in my life that I always tend to fall back on to get me through days like this. Thinking of the hard times, and how you made it through them, keeps you feeling strong!
When I was stationed in Camp Humphrey’s, South Korea as a Military Police Officer, we did a lot of field training exercises. You may not be familiar with this lingo, so let me enlighten you. It is really a glorified camping trip lasting anywhere from one week to one month. Now I LOVED this part of the Army!
First came setting up camp, which consisted of a 20x30 ft tents, with a platoon full of cots, if we were lucky, water, vehicle and food stations. During the remainder course of this time, we “played Army” in different terrains and learned new tactics, conducted Night Ops training, qualified with weapons, practiced convoys and all that fun stuff you see on the TV commercials! This was all fun and games, until it became winter time and it was 10 degrees with the wind just whipping across the rice patty, as if it were a flat sandy dessert!
Now THAT my friends was BRUTAL and let me tell you how! First and foremost, my MOST dreaded task during this whole operation, was performing Guard Duty in the middle of the night. Each soldier had to take their turn walking the perimeter, standing in the guard tower or checking security points. So, you’re woken up, sometimes nicely, sometimes not, by the soldier finishing their shift. Talk about dreadful getting up! First of all, you are working with 4 hour of sleep here to begin with, 20 hour freezing days with NO hot showers or coffee to take the edge off. You get dressed in your sleeping bag, because you sleep in your skivvies to produce more body heat and your BDU’s are tucked down in the bottom of your sleeping bag to keep them warm, you learn the trick of the trade FAST!
But you JUST do it, all to climb back in your sleeping bag for a half an hour and to be woken up to start your 20 hour training day all over again….in the cold, no escaping, minus the tiny space heater we were permitted in our tents, pending a certain temperature. You only REALLY felt the warmth if you were one of the FAST ones to hurry up and claim your cot, pretty much “on top” of the heater as you could! But you if your were that last soldier way on the far side of the tent, by the door, you might as well forget EVER being warm! And yes, you betcha, I learned to RUN!!!
But, ahhhh, days like today!!! Even though it is snowing, blowing and freezing cold, and I have to go out and shovel, scrape the car and bear the elements, I am blessed to have a roof over my head, a warm place to snuggle up in, hot running water and NO GUARD DUTY! Amen to that! Did my time, and it makes me ever so grateful! You should be too!!!
By Courtney Salapek
Stay tuned for future blogs to be posted Monday, Wednesday, Fridays and sometimes in between.:) Feel free to add comments in the comment section at the bottom of the page. I ‘d love to hear your feedback and future blog requests! Thank you for your time and have a blessed day!
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