It is a cold day today. It is one of those days where you step out of the car at Wal-mart and hold in against it as you would against an unwelcome hug only more tightly somehow. And walk quickly, not running, because running is too much like getting the hug after-all.
The fires at home in the stove burn hot with all the drafts wide open, the glasses clean and clear, because the creosote doesn’t have a chance to build up due to the heat. We nurse the fires into deep beds of coals under the stack of wood we will not allow to be depleted.
It is only January and already the ranks of dry hardwood we stockpiled last fall are shrinking alarmingly. It is a real winter for once, we say to each other, more like what we used to have twenty years ago. Which is just an old school way of saying we remember all kinds of winters including this kind and when all you youngsters have lived as long as we have, this winter will be one to refer to later. “In the winter of 2013-14 it was so cold that the smoke froze solid in the air above the chimney…honestly, if you threw boiling water out the door into the morning it would freeze instantly and tinkle as it fell.”
…Or some such nonsense. Ok, it IS pretty cold; but not unendurable. In fact, some of us get a kick out of it. Makes me feel hardy in a way. There is nothing quite like stepping out on the front step in the still, starry morning when it is thirty below zero and take a deep breathe of it. No, silly, it won’t burn your lungs that fast. It might clear your foggy brain first thing in the morning, though.
How cold is it, anyway? It is so cold that…. Let’s hear your earnest or nonsensical renditions in the comments.