Memories of the Cold and Gratitude for the Warmth
The lessons you learn when you are outside in the wind and it’s 40 below really stick with you.
I grew up in Menomonie, Wisconsin, playing hockey outside every winter. Unless it got to 10 degrees below zero or colder, games and practices were on. It’s funny thinking back how much more acclimated I was to the cold back then. Growing up in Wisconsin, you get used to it. I do wonder if kids are even allowed to go outside when it’s that cold now.
A million years ago on a cold November night, when I was in law school at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, it started raining, and overnight a half-inch of ice coated everything. It was beautiful, but the reality of dealing with the ice set in pretty quickly. After that freezing rain, the temperature didn’t go above freezing until March, which meant walking, driving, and doing anything outside was challenging or dangerous.
Shortly after that, my car got towed. I was a student, I had no money, and I had an old car that I parked on the street. I lived on a busy street, and because of snow emergency rules, my car was towed to the impound lot, and I had to get a ride downtown. When I reached the lot, I shuffled across the ice, got in and it wouldn’t start. The impound lot was so full of cars that there wasn’t room to get another vehicle close enough to jump my car. So, I left, borrowed a portable battery charger from a friend, got another ride from a different friend back to the lot immediately to avoid another day of fees, and finally got my car started. And it was a good thing because I needed it to get to work the next day.
That was many years ago, and those things wouldn’t happen to me today. I have a garage where my car is parked, I have a nicer car that is much more likely to start in the cold, and I’ve made sure that I have a portable battery charger in every vehicle I’ve owned since.
“The lessons you learn when you are outside in the wind and it’s 40 below really stick with you.”’
Not having money is a lot of work. When you don’t have many resources, everything can be a struggle, and the cold wind blows even colder.
That brings me to the valuable work that our clients do. As franchise owners, many of them successfully run fast-food restaurants. They’re successful because they have learned how to manage and cater to people who often live paycheck to paycheck and for whom price matters. My clients understand that everyone deserves respect and a quality experience with value for the money they spend. They are very good at delivering that experience. They provide a positive environment that offers employment, quality food, and a place of warmth — no matter how cold it gets outside.