I have returned to the city of my birth for the holidays, and to suggest that I was unprepared would be an understatement. It’s cold here in Kansas City. Very cold. Oh-my-God-we-are-all-going-to-die cold. It’s the sort of cold that makes it impossible to talk about anything except how mother-loving cold it is. Or it could be me.
Okay, it’s me.
I used to live here. I’m certain of it. I have distinct memories. I can still find things here – except for everything that has had the audacity to move or change in my absence. But while I will never be a California native – I’m far too Midwestern for that – I am not a local girl anymore either. Others walk around in this 20-some degree freezer as though it is merely unpleasant rather than the setting of a Michael Bay disaster movie, which I know it to be. Others are functioning normally. I am stockpiling canned goods for the apocalypse and wearing two coats.
It’s unforgiving out here, I tell you. That’s probably why my mother, when the weather turned, loaded her trunk with sleeping bags and other cold weather gear and drove to a homeless encampment to hand it all out.
It might have also had something to do with her being awesome.