My wife gets edgy in the winter. Really really edgy. Perhaps she is edgy the rest of the year, but the rest of the year the weather is fine so I'm not inside much, I'm out fishing and not inside observing. But in winter, I spend a lot more time indoors, with her, so it is perhaps just more noticeable.
Take yesterday for example. We'd had a week of crappy weather, cold or windy or rainy or all three - and throw in some fog here and there. I stayed in. All week. And I began to notice how edgy she was. I followed her around the house in order to try and determine the cause of this edginess. Edginess that was beginning to border on a hostile attitude by yesterday.
And no matter how much I followed her from room to room to room, or how many thousands of questions I asked, she just wouldn't - or possibly couldn't - explain herself. I tried to help her by keeping her busy, I asked her to make umpteen sandwiches for instance. Or pointed out that there was a dirty dish in the sink that could be washed, or even helped her by showing her the laundry bin had a shirt in it.
Yesterday she seemed to reach peak edginess. I noticed a buzzing sound drowning out my own voice - my voice explaining to her the importance of vacuuming (and it is) - a buzzing that was growing louder and louder until I was actually forced to consider it an interruption. I looked over at the source and the buzzing slowly resolved into clear (and quite loud) words.
My wife was standing in the back door, with the door open, she was holding my fishing vest and my fly rod was leaning against the porch wall. Her free arm was gesturing wildly. She was telling me (some less kind than me might say yelling at me) to go fishing (as in "get the hell out of here and go fishing"). I noticed right away that she was NOT phrasing this as a request. She sounded urgent about it, maybe even a bit over-keyed up, and most definitely she had that edgy voice that she gets in the winter.
So, not to disappoint the love of my life, I went fishing. And damn but that was some cold water. I have waders, somewhere. But I went with shorts and sandals and waded out into the river as it seemed quite important to her that I went RIGHT THEN. I'd say the water was exhibiting a remarkable property not previously known in physics - this water was at Forty Below Zero and was still liquid! Amazing! I'm thinking of writing about it to the local college physics department to see if I can get a Nobel Peace Prize for a radical new discovery.
But wait, there's more! As I continued wading out into the water, getting deeper and deeper, the water actually became even colder than that, by the time I was up to my belly button the water temperature had dropped to One-Hundred Below Zero! Yes, you read that right, and it was STILL LIQUID! I know, right?
I managed to stay in it for one hour. At the end of that hour I had caught one fish, pictured below. I had, however, noticed quite clearly that I was far more relaxed than I had been while in the house with my edgy wife. I felt like a tensed coil spring that had slowly unwound. It was possibly because I was fishing, and no one else was in sight or sound of me. Just me, the river, nature, and that COLD WATER that had not quite left my conscious mind even when catching the one fish.
I was submerged from my navel down, and while the skin seemed to have gone numb, the bones inside had not. I decided to go check on my wife.
She was really surprised, perhaps unhappily, that I was back so soon.
As I went to bed last night I could hear my wife rummaging around in the storage closet, looking for my waders. That woman loves for me to go fishing, what a rare gem she is.