Running errands in December, third world style.
Running errands last December, third world style.

Call me stubborn, but I refuse to take our little car to the grocery store even when it’s below freezing. I just don’t see the point in running fossil fuel through a combustible engine to go 5 blocks and back. Most of the rest of the world walks this earth with the legs they were born with and they are healthier because of it. Come to think of it, so is the planet! Therefore, even when it is a breezy 17 degrees Fahrenheit, as is it was this morning, I’m determined not to act like a rich, white person and fire up the Escort.

Am I over-reacting? Probably. Nine winters in the tropics have turned me into a spoiled tropical girl. I passed a woman in a medium-weight jacket on the street this morning who told me it wasn’t that cold yet. And yesterday, I saw a guy in a tee shirt walk 100 feet from the post office to his $40,000 Crew Cab Dually Diesel. Of course, he had left the engine running.

What do I get out of putting on 5 layers of clothes and hiking around town in the wind besides bragging rights?

Exercise – I’m flexing muscles I’d forgotten I had in an effort to force blood into them. And, if I’m lucky, I won’t put on weight during the holiday feast season of potlucks and parties.

Acclimation – Spending time outside toughens me up so I can, well – spend more time outside playing with the horses, watching the birds, and looking at the clouds. You know; all that “nature” crap.

Focus – The horror of winter strengthens my resolve to return to the tropics as soon as possible. My goal of saving money to fund my escape becomes very clear each time I step outside into the wind.

Yes, I’m a contrary. I don’t need much of an excuse to buck the status quo. I don’t WANT to live like a rich person. So I’m going to keep on going to bed after dark, eating beans and rice, shopping at the thrift stores and saying “No” to frivolous driving.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.