Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 7, 2014

John Cannon: Doing without gloves: 01/08/14

John Cannon
The Independent

ASHLAND — A few years ago, I ceased purchasing two items that are closely associated with the weather. In both cases, it was because I kept losing them because I would leave them where I was when I no longer needed them because of a change the weather.

I finally had lost so many of these two items that I just gave up. Instead of buying new ones, which I was sure to soon lose, I ceased buying them.

That’s when I ceased carrying umbrellas. Over the years, I must have lost 15 or 20 umbrellas by leaving them where I was when it ceased raining.

  Whenever I realized that I had left my umbrella somewhere in my travels, I’d simply shrug and think, “Well, there goes another one.”

I admit that over the years I have seldom missed having an umbrella. Oh sure, I’ve gotten a little wet now and then by having to rush through a sudden downpour, but unlike the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz,” I have no reason to fear water. Whenever I have gotten wet in a storm, I have always quickly dried with no long-term damage or discomfort.

About the time I ceased buying and carrying umbrellas, I stopped purchasing and wearing gloves. Over the years, I have probably gone through more pairs of gloves than I have umbrellas. I still own a few gloves, but none of them are mates. I have lost so many single gloves that I no longer have complete pair. So be it. Who cares?

Who need gloves anyway when you have pockets where you can stick your hands when they get cold? I would say that 99.85 percent of the time, good pockets are all I need to keep my hands warm. Who needs gloves? Most of the time, not me.

However, I must admit that these last few days were part of the 0.15 percent of the time when I wished I had a good pair of gloves. I would not even care it they were mates. It was so cold walking the dog Monday and Tuesday, that I would have gladly worn a red glove and a green one just to keep my hands warm.

The reason I dislike gloves so much is because they make me clumsier than I really am — and there are few people klutzier than yours truly.

Growing up on a farm in Ohio, I was constantly having to take my gloves on and off in order to do things like unwire the gate to open it. Even in those days when my mind was much sharper than it is today, I was always leaving a glove where I had taken it off, usually at the last gate I had gone through, but also at the outdoor water spigot, near the ladder to the loft and wherever else I needed more agility than I had while wearing gloves. I did wear gloves when baling hay in the heat of summer, but they were to protect my hands from blisters, not from the cold. But I even hated those gloves because they made me clumsier.

As I write this, we have been told this frigid bout of weather will be over by today. In fact, I even heard that it may top 50 degrees later this week. Thus, I won’t be rushing out to buy gloves anytime soon. If I can make it through Monday and Tuesday without them, I can make it through anything.

Thus, my main objection to umbrellas and gloves is that they are so expensive. Not individually, mind you, but when you keep having to buy new ones to replace the ones you lost, it can get into some serious money.

And it is money I won’t be spending, no matter how wet my bald head gets in the rain on how cold my hands get when the thermometer drops into single digits.

JOHN CANNON can be reached at jcannon@dailyindependent.com or at (606) 326-2649.