Press "Enter" to skip to content

The older you get, the colder you get

‘The older you get, the colder you get.’ Those words of wisdom – the only words of wisdom from him I remember – were imparted to me by Grandaddy Lonnie. We were living in Ailey, Ga. at the time. We had a burn barrel behind the house for burning trash. It was a cold day and I had trash duty. Once upon a time, trash duty for me led to a wildfire in the adjoining broom sedge field but that is story for another day. Alonzo Allen Lanier seemed ancient to me at the time. As I recall, he was relatively tall, lean and his hands were knotted with arthritis. He had those hands, calloused by a lifetime of hard work, so close to the flames I thought he would surely be burned. Apparently the heat helped with the arthritis. Though I assume he started as a sharecropper, Lonnie eventually acquired a farm of his own near Brooklet in Bulloch County. He worked it tirelessly to make ends meet. He was also known to make a batch of ‘˜likker’ on occasion. His wife was Laura, called Aunt Lolly. I have few remembrances of her. She lost a leg to diabetes. She died in 1961 at age 76. I attended her funeral. I was six. After the funeral, I remember being put to bed in a front room of their modest farmhouse to take a nap. Rain began to fall on the tin roof. I still remember how soothing it was and how well I slept while the others mourned and ate. Lonnie’s remark about getting colder as you get older was made sometime in early 1970 before it got warm. By that August, he was dead at age 86. He and Aunt Lolly are buried in the Brooklet city cemetery. Occasionally, I drop by to visit their graves. It is 70 degrees and sunny as I write this but it has been cold. As each winter rolls in, I notice it is harder for me to get and stay warm. I layer my clothes, recline in my chair with a heating pad and sleep under an electric blanket. I don’t have a burn barrel but I do love to back up to a warm fire in the fireplace. I know we will pay for the respite of such warm weather in early February. I anticipate damage to the area peach crop for the third straight year and predict an ice storm for mid-March. It will likely impact the Barnesville BBQ & Blues Festival March 15-16 which has been moved up from its normal date in April. Perhaps, we will have another polar vortex. The Weather Channel can name the system as they are wont to do of late. I would suggest ‘˜Winter Storm Lonnie’. Lonnie had no weather channel. For at least half his life he had no television. His weather prognostications came from the radio and watching the critters in the woods. That’s how he knew when to kill hogs and make cane syrup. According to Georgia’s expert groundhog, Gen. Beauregard Lee, we are in for five more weeks of winter so the cold weather will be back with a vengeance. I hope I am wrong but expect it to take a heavy toll. We will make it but spring cannot get here soon enough. My great-grandfather managed to make it through 86 winters with far fewer comforts than we have. I wonder what Lonnie would think about all the hype about global warming. I suspect he would he would sidle up to the burn barrel, scoff at the junk science, take a little nip and say, ‘Much more of this global warming and I’m going to freeze to death.’

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Website by - Copyright 2021