Thursday, January 27, 2011
So we all know Jaypootie likes to tease the people around him, but one area Jaypootie didn’t joke about was the well-being of Jean, Alfonse and myself.
When we moved from location to location on snowmobile, Jaypootie took meticulous care that our parkas, balaclavas, goggles and toques were adjusted so every inch of skin was properly covered and sealed up in our Arctic gear.
After our first stop earlier today, I was bundling myself up for the snowmobile ride to the next stop. But when I pulled on my parka hood up over my face it skewed my toque to the side of my head, twisted my balaclava over my ears and pushed my goggles down to the tip of my nose. It may not sound complicated to fix, but trust me, out on the land, in –28c, in giant down filled mittens, it is.
I tried to push everything back into place. It wasn’t ideal but I figured it was good enough until our next stop.
Jaypootie passed by me. “How are you doing?”
“Perfect!” I said giving the thumbs up.
But Jaypootie took one look at my haphazard Arctic gear and shook his head. “Perfect? That’s not perfect at all. You don’t even have them on in the right order!”
Jaypootie pulled off his gloves and readjusted my balaclava, toque, scarf and goggles. Then he tackled my hands. Pulling my parka sleeves into my undergloves and pulling my down filled mittens tightly over my parka sleeves.
He finished the job by pulling my parka hood up over my head and zipping the coat up to my nose.
I felt about four years old.
There!,” he said taking a step back and smiling. “That’s better. No bare skin and no more cold for you!”
Next he moved on to check Jean and then to the qamutik, an Inuit sled, to adjust Alfonse’s gear.
Jaypootie repeated the same ritual at every stop for the rest of the trip.
“This reminds me of when I was little. It’s what my parents did for me before going out,” Jaypootie said fixing my mittens, scarf and zipping me into my parka with outmost patience for the umpteenth time. “Now I do the same for you guys. Put the clothes on right so there’s no more cold.”