Earth & Nature, Through the Seasons

Cold, Cold, Cold.

Cold, cold, cold.  Cold is not even close to a good description of what it feels like here.  I had planned to talk all about the crochet-alongs and other squares that I’ve been working on, but this arctic storm has completely preoccupied me, along with my friends and neighbors, and a good portion of the country, I suppose, as well.

cold, cold, cold

Now, to put things in perspective, I’ve been winterized pretty much since birth.  I’ve lived in the Midwest all my life, except for a brief period in Wyoming (where we had electrical outlets to plug our cars into) so subzero temperatures, foot upon foot of snow, digging myself out of parking spaces with a snow shovel and having ice treads that pull on over boots – none of these faze me.  I have chipped off an inch solid of ice from my car windshield; I’ve worn two pairs of pants at once (with tights underneath, no less) to do hours of outdoor winter work; I own, and make regular use of, knee warmers.  Even anything in the 0-15 degree range is still do-able without much of a grumble (and we’re talking Fahrenheit, here!). But this coldness is absolutely unbelievable.  And it’s not the temperature so much as it is the wind chill, those heavy gusts that literally take your breath away.

I thought I’d open my window a crack this afternoon after the kids and I watched what looked like a mini-tornado whirling around the yard (not a real one, of course, but when wind whips leaves and snow into a little spiral, that sort of thing).  Anyway, I opened the window barely a crack and was blasted in the face with what felt like a sheet of ice.  It is beyond cold.  None of the descriptions they’re giving in the news adequately conveys how frigid it actually feels.

So I sealed all of our windows with plastic wrap and lined them with bath towels, and hung heavy curtains in front of that.  Even still, we can hear the wind whirling through the cracks and the blinds are still rocking in the draft.

There are “warming centers” open in my city for those who don’t have a warm home to go to, and I am sincerely hopeful that there is no one on the streets tonight battling this deep freeze.  My other concern has been for the wildlife.  We dumped a big sized bowl of birdseed out our front window the other day before the temperatures got too low, but it was snowing so hard we never got to see if the birds got to it or even if they saw that it’s there.

I found this great tip on my facebook feed and I wish that I had thought of it before temperatures got too low.  I think it would even work with a plastic bin, though in this wind, it would need securing:

cold, cold, cold

If nothing else, we’re saving our food scraps (no meat!) to toss out for the chipmunks and squirrels.  The littlest animals literally survive the winter weather off of calories.  In this weather, anything at all would make some difference, I think.

As for the boys and I, we are fine.  We’re hunkering down under layers of wool and soft but thick afghans, drinking hot drinks and doing a lot of cuddling.   Even with our heat blasting and covered windows, it’s still chilly in here – the best time to warm my fingers with a crochet hook and some yarn.I found this great article on how to heat a room with tea lights and a flower pot.  At least I know our food wouldn’t spoil!

Stay warm, all of my Midwestern friends (and those on the outskirts who are not used to chillier weather).

~ Mellie ★

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