Pulled themselves out of cruelly warm beds, bodies protesting, knowing it was a rudeness. It is inappropriate to get up this early. I am not a farmer. There is no plow or chicken that needs me this early. But 24-hour round-the-clock American convenience would disagree. And somebody has to get up.

Coats scarves multiple shirts, layers that would become unnecessary later, when the sun gave in, they knew this was the peak of the day's harshness, the time when here might as well be the tundra, degrees could not express how cold it was on the way to the car after having so recently been in bed.

So, it wasn't easy. All right. There is a grim familiar moment in the shower, or blowing on strong coffee, or gripping the steering wheel while the engine thaws, when you steel yourself, again, you remind yourself why this must be done, again, and you come back to the truth that you are going to do it, again. And as it turns out, it isn't so bad. You have a reality to keep. It is yours; good things may come of it after all.   There will be warmth later on in the day; you know it.   You take what you can get.  It's what you do.

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