We are just over one week into what is officially Winter, and while we knew it was inevitable (like… late January and into February), we’re getting our first big deep freeze starting later today. We’d been getting warnings about it for the last week by the various weather folks on the local news stations and Al Roker has been making sure to prepare us on NBC’s Today morning news show. And here it is, the first paragraph of the weather forecast in my email today from Channel 3000:
The party is over. A powerful cold front will cause temperatures to fall from a high around 20 degrees this morning into the single digits by the late afternoon. The light snow will end and skies will start to clear later Sunday afternoon. By Monday morning, temperatures will drop to around -10, with wind chills from -20 to -30.
The wind chills, brought in sometimes by gales worthy of carrying a hurricanes name, are really what sends me running for the stocking cap to wear inside the house. My house is protected somewhat from the full brunt of the winds as I’m surrounded by trees, but the icy tendrils that work their way through my perfectly imperfect homes cracks still send shivers down my spine. One day Mr. Muse and I plan on installing a wonderful woodstove to take the edge off as we recall on numerous occasions a similarly drafty farmhouse we rented with a woodstove that when kept firing, sustained the inside of the home at about 85 degrees; enough for us to walk around in shorts and tank tops all winter when in the house. I can’t do that in our present abode without having the fuel delivery folks show up more often.
I’m sure that would mean we’d have more mice boarding rent-free in the house as well.
Deep freezes of winter aren’t all bad. Many a winter day when I was growing up could find me under a homemade afghan on the floor of my parents’ family room with a dog nearby sharing a delicious sunbeam for an afternoon nap. I still have homemade afghans in my home, but the sunbeams reach our living room floor too early in the day for naps and though they bathe the backs of our loveseat and armchair most of the day, I doubt the cats will want to share that space with me. I’d probably also end up with a kink in my neck and legs plagued by “pins and needles”.
There are other ways of handling such bone-chilling cold, like wearing many layers of clothes, for instance, and slippers on my feet. I have hats, both store-bought and homemade, readily accessible and won’t hesitate to tug one onto my head and down over my ears even if I’m having a good hair day. I’ve got two zip-up hoodie sweatshirts in rotation, two heavy pairs of socks my mom has knitted for me, one pair of which I will take out later today when the chill really sets in, and I also have a decent supply of hot cocoa.
These days in the deep freeze do make me appreciate the warming up of Spring. The smell of the earth as it thaws. The first peeks of green against the terrain. In a month I’ll be appreciating the temperatures and the green in tropical and sub-tropical locales for an all-too-fleeting a trip, knowing that I’ll be coming back to the cold once again.
December is going out like a lion and January will usher in like a whole pride of them, but for now, my chickens need taking care of, the wild songbirds need their feeders filled and I need a second round of coffee.
How do you stay warm when the deep freeze hits?