Monday, February 25, 2013

How cold was it yesterday?

Beth noted a park event for yesterday in her Cleveland paper: Drop by with your family for fun in the snow! Test your skills at winter challenges such as snowball making and throwing, fort building, sled pulling, and more. Challenge others and yourself in snowshoe games. Dress for the weather. Enjoy hot chocolate by a roaring fire within Ledges Shelter. No snow? No problem! If the weather does not cooperate, we'll have other outdoor games to play. Ledges Shelter, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

We arranged to meet at noon, turn the cousins loose, sit by the roaring fire and drink hot chocolate.  Laura was ready to leave before I got out of bed.  I put her off until after breakfast; we arrived around eleven.  There was no snow.

There was a roaring fire in each end of the CCC lodge, built in the thirties.  Two rangers were happy to see us come in.  On inquiry I learned we were the first fun in the snow customers.

I asked if they drew the short straw, and the tall young ranger said actually, they had invented this straw, and they had a good backup plan, too.  A button toss game and making god’s eyes from a bucket of yarn. There was no snow
It was cold. It could have been worse.  The day’s high temperature was thirty at midnight, and went down all day. I had on my standard winter gear, starting with a long sleeved tee shirt that is merino wool sandwiched between knitted tee shirt cotton, a turtle neck, another shirt, my winter coat.  I was cold.  The girls were game to be the practice children for back-up activities.  No snow.

One ranger left his ranger hat on the table.  Much as I covet a ranger hat, I only took a picture.  I looked around later on and saw the hat was the focus of a game.  

A family with four young children came in and most children descended on the yarn box to make god’s eyes.  Eventually the ranger enticed them all out for kickball.

There were no chairs for sitting around a roaring fire in a damn cold lodge, so I wandered around and took pictures.  I’ve mentioned that I like how well the federal government has maintained all these buildings.  I posted a picture of the outside of this lodge on that starkly blue winter day a couple of weeks ago:

Two weeks ago

Roaring fires notwithstanding, the building is only a shelter.  The stones are impressive, but the corners let in the outdoors. It was cold.  

The two chinks of light between the stone and the wood are from outdoors

The window panes are original glass, single pane.  The hinges and fasteners are iron.  I don’t know if they were purchased or if the CCC employed blacksmiths, too.  I’d wager they did, as all the quarried rock in the walls came from Deep Lock Quarry nearby and was cut on site.  I like the age patina on everything.

I was not unhappy until my feet grew cold.  I don’t tolerate that nonsense.  A text to Beth showed her still at home, a not unexpected state of affairs.  We made a backup plan to meet at the house, and the girls and I took our leave about 12:30, with the young family eating their picnic lunch on a blanket in front of the fire, cups of hot chocolate all around.

Three cousins kibitzing the afternoon chess game of two more cousins.  Around a warm kitchen table.


  1. You should have called me...I'd have loved it!
    Jane x

  2. Who needed snow, anyway? Looks like there was fun to be had without the white cold slushy snow.

  3. looked like it could have been a fun event if there was snow and if it wasn't so cold!!! Nothing worse than being cold, I think, especially if my feet are cold.


  4. Sounds like overall you were a pretty good sport, especially after you got home where it was warm.

  5. I can't tolerate cold feet either - I just don't have the circulation for it, and I kind of like having all my toes :)

    You're a good sport, you are!

  6. Nice old building and a brave attempt by those young rangers! I love the photo of the kids in the kitchen, kids being kids.

  7. Around a warm kitchen table. That's the best sentence right there. Or maybe hot chocolate by a roaring fire.
    The morning did sound like fun, except for the cold.

  8. What are God's eyes ?
    It did sound cold ! Glad you could warm up afterwards

  9. I would also like to know what God's eyes are. The buildings were beautiful, but I am sorry you were cold.
    Here, I am still sweltering. I spend most of every day a soggy mess, and would happily borrow some of that cold weather.

  10. God's eyes? Hate, hate, hate cold feet. Best thing I ever bought for winter were double fur lined boots! Have never needed to wear them in England!!! Are you warm now?

  11. What a treasure those lovely old lodges and park shelters built by the CCC years ago are today!

  12. Wah, no snow! Glad you managed to have fun anyway. I've got sleigh rides on for the next two Sundays and am hoping we don't get some stupid heat wave like we did last March!

  13. It's summer here and the temperature is increasing everyday! I would love to experience snow but I know I wouldn't last, lol! Do keep yourself warm, Ms Joanne! ♥

  14. Sounds like it was a fun time. It's often better when you need to be actively involved in creating the fun.

  15. I'm so glad you all had such a terrific time. How wonderful that they have such a fun thing for kids (and grown-ups).

  16. Dear Joanne, really this sounds like such a perfect day--combining both nature and home, fire and cold. I'm glad you were able to do it all. Peace.