We had an arctic blast early in the week causing icy roads, school and business closings. As it moved off to the east Tuesday night, skies cleared of clouds and allowed the temperature to plummet even lower nearing the 0 mark. Only the die-hards made it to the Stockman for morning coffee.
Since the Stockman officially closed several months ago as an "eatery", the only heat is provided by two small electric heaters (on the face of one is a thermometer). And in weather like we have been having, drinking morning coffee at the Stockman is akin to being a member of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club .... with the exception that we wear insulated coveralls, Elmer Fudd hats and flaps and drink our coffee with gloved hands.
The conversations are in general, the same topics as summer, except for the weather conditions. This time of year calving is just beginning and there are multiple stories of saving a calf in sub freezing temperatures as the "old rip of a cow" (other expletives are sometimes used) try's to run you over.
Politics are also often discussed, as they were yesterday morning. Chester, who had been rather quiet when he first came in, suddenly slapped the table with a gloved hand and said, "I'm not giving up without a fight!"
Clyde gave a sideward glance at him with a raised eyebrow, "What in the world are you talking about?"
"They can tax me, make me wear seat belts and prevent me from spitting tobacco juice on the sidewalk. But I'll be hanged before they take my morning coffee away at the Stockman!" replied Chester.
Now with both eyebrows raised Clyde simply said "Huh?"
"Al Gore is trying to shut us down!" was Chester's matter-of-fact reply.
"What?" asked Clyde with a befuddled look on his face.
"Well Al Gore is speaking before some Senate committee today about global warming and the need to offset some carbon emissions. And you KNOW that every time he speaks it gets colder. Look at that room temperature in here this morning!" Chester said pointing at the thermometer.