10 degrees and it looks like that’s where it’s gonna stay. All day. The rest of the week.
I wanna snuggle up in a big ‘ol pile with this kitten and all my blankets.
It’s funny how fast the seasons shift around here. I’ve lived here long enough to expect it, but just a few days ago it was sunny and mild and the hilltops were gold and we were walking around saying, “What a beautiful fall we’ve been having!” “Aren’t we lucky!”
And then, overnight…
Below zero temperatures. Icy roads, people trying to remember where they put their favorite scarf. Hat. Mittens.
I hauled the giant tub of winter gear upstairs to sort through. Ordered a new pair of snow boots.
Took the dogs for a walk.
Turned around after five minutes and went back inside.
Shit. It’s cold.
I’m not ready for this.
The dam is froze up. Ranchers are breaking ice and feeding hay.
I am making plans for soup for dinner every night for the next six months.
I even went to craft club and attempted to make mittens out of an old sweater.
I hadn’t used a sewing machine since I nearly failed Home Ec. in the 8th grade. This time it didn’t go much better.
I required assistance. A lot of assistance. And the mittens, well, one is done. Sorta. I might need to call Martha Stewart…and pour a drink…
But these are the things people out here do in the winter. They have hobbies. Or create new ones that will help them pass the time in the dark and cold that settles in here around 5 pm and lingers until the morning. And some might pour a little bourbon in a glass, you know, to thaw out a bit…
If the cold and the white on the plains were as inspiring to as many people as the waves in the ocean hitting the shore, or the tall pines of the mountains reaching toward the sky, we would have thousands of poets and painters here telling the story of a frozen world.
But the cold settling in on the plains is a beauty recognized by the characters out here who can’t help but marvel at extremes. They appreciate what cold does to the body and the soul, makes it slow down, recharge, toughen up and soften up at the same time.
We take pride in the taking care of things, the animals, the driveway, one another.
We laugh at things like frozen eyeballs, snot-sicles and relocated southerners who think 20 degrees is as cold as it gets.
It is cold. But it will get colder.
My Lord, will it get colder.
It Came In With The Night
Go find your mittens
so your fingers don’t freeze
slip on your big boots
pull your socks to your knees
Dig out your best scarf
wrap it round yourself tight
the snow has arrived here
it came in with the night.
I’ll put the roast in the oven
and heat the milk on the stove
they’ll be right here waiting
when you come in from the cold
Knocking ice from the branches
and stringing Christmas tree lights
yes the snow has arrived dear
it came in with the night.
So squeeze on your knit cap
over wild wooly hair
watch your breath float and drift
in the crisp morning air
Break the ice for the cattle
put the saddles away
yes the snow has arrived here
and I think it might stay.