We’re Not Worthy

You know, if you’re ever cold and feeling sorry for yourself, or just plain cold, or for that matter even just plain feeling sorry for yourself, one way to put it all in perspective is to spend a little time reading or re-reading an account of the Shackleton Expedition. I did this the other night.  I was left, as always, feeling that the men involved in that undertaking must’ve been an entirely different species of animal from me.  Truly makes you feel warm, dry, safe and secure.

In other news, J. was away last night, leaving me to my own devices.  The wood stove was not one of them.  And it was a cold night (so much for my prediction that we were done with single digit lows.)  So, it was pretty chilly shaving this morning.  Like, 36º.  I thought of Shackleton.  I thought of sliding into a rotting, ice-encrusted, reindeer “sleeping bag” in the bow of a 20-foot boat pitching among icebergs in the dark in the southern ocean.  I felt fine.

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12 Responses to “We’re Not Worthy”

  1. Kevin Says:

    They reached the whaling station to the disbelief of the Norwegian whalers there. This is the conversation Mr Sorlie, the Norwegian whaler, recalls as they arrived:

    Shackleton: Do you know me? My name is Ernest Shackleton. We have lost our ship, and come over the island.
    Sorlie: Ernest Shackleton! My friend!
    Shackleton:I am afraid that we smell a little.
    Sorlie: This is a whaling station. We all smell a little.
    Shackleton:We have been away so long. Tell us about the war. When did it end?
    Sorlie: The war? The war, my friend, is not over. They’ve gone mad, Europe has gone mad. They’ve killed millions and millions of people. It’s a war like… no other war.
    Frank Worsley: Who is winning?
    Sorlie: Well, whoever is left alive at the end. Won’t you sit down, please? Please.
    Shackleton: Mmm, thank you. .. I need to borrow a ship.

  2. Cold House Journal Says:

    “I need to borrow a ship.”

    Yeah… he borrowed a ship, then another ship, then another, then another… the rescue mission itself would be a harrowing tale of man against the elements, if it were not so heavily overshadowed by the even more harrowing story up to that point.

  3. Johanna Says:

    Sometimes, when it’s really cold and I am grumpy about my too cold house, I think of J. and what she has to put up with. It makes me feel much like you feel when you think of Shackleton.

    • Cold House Journal Says:

      She says she loves heating with wood. She really says that. And as I mentioned, she wasn’t even home for that cold-fest last night…

      • Rising Tide Says:

        She loves HEATING with wood. Not so much having a wood stove with a single stick of wood per day allocated, methinks.

        I’m just guessing…

  4. Johanna Says:

    (and I do realize she probably chooses this. But when I am cold, I can only imagine one worse fate, and that is the cold house.)

  5. J. Says:

    Eh hem. When I arrived home last night to a house at 37 degrees, I was grumpy. Tired…and grumpy. Muttering unkind words. I love heating with wood. However, I love the cold house less and less.

    • Cold House Journal Says:

      “When I arrived home last night…” I guess this begs the question– which is worse late on a Friday: to be home at a cold house, or to be still working at a warm office?”

  6. beth Says:

    Ah, it seems like your readers want you to throw a bone (in this case, a big ole wood pile) to J. and do it up heat-wise a bit. 37 is frigid, not cold!

  7. Leif Says:

    And if I recall, almost 2 years after losing their ship in the Antarctic ice, Shackleton delivered every single person in his command safely to Chile. Whereupon several of them signed up for the English military – and were dead in the trenches within months.

  8. Leif Says:

    And if you really want a story of deprivation to make you feel snug, warm, & well fed, read about the Greely Expedition:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Franklin_Bay_Expedition

    Ghosts of Cape Sabine: The Harrowing True Story of the Greely Expedition

    Ghosts of Cape Sabine: The Harrowing True Story of the Greely Expedition

    Buy from Amazon

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