For those of you living in warmer climes...if you want to experience our bitter cold vicariously...read the non-fiction book, The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin. It is a chilling (no pun intended) real-life tale of the blizzard of January 12, 1888, a monster storm that took the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa by complete surprise. It will cause you to get a clear look at the unexpected deadliness that winter can throw at you. I highly recommend this book for anyone living on the Great Plains. It will give you second thought as to your own ability to second-guess "winter". (It's been a long time since I read the "Little House on the Prairie" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, but if I remember correctly, she writes of one such storm...perhaps the same one of 1888.)
Seems like I have gone mono-topic here lately. Bitter Cold. More Bitter Cold. Blizzard Cold. (That's all one topic.)
Snow yesterday. Temps zero and below. Today we have wind blowing through like a freight-train after howling all night. It will not abate until around midnight tonight. That means it is pointless right now to shovel driveways.
My Mom's furnace? Still waiting for the part. She is on the phone with the gas company this morning. Her home is cooler than its usual temp. The thermostat shows 70 degrees in the living room so the portable electric heaters are doing the trick. It helps that her home was "winterized" a couple years back with extra insulation, etc. She knows how to layer clothing and she does not want to come over to our house...which at the moment would be possible only if we find someone with a 4-wheel drive.
I can't blame the gas company. It seems furnaces quit only under two circumstances...either in the midst of the worst storm of the year OR while you are preparing Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. The gas company keeps a stock of portable heaters on hand for emergency use and they told her they had to go out and buy more this past week. Hers is not the only furnace to be on the fritz. In fact, the fellow doing our sheetrock work had his go out the same night. His was an old Lennox but he was able to find parts and have it working again within two days.
Today Mom is planning to take some frozen bread dough out and bake it. That will warm up the kitchen. And she plans to use her washer and dryer...they are on different circuits than the electric heaters so that should be no problem.
Tomorrow the high will be a minus 5. And overnight, into Saturday AM, the temp will dip once again to 20 below or lower with wind-chills down to -35 or -40 degrees. That's cold, Folks!
But even though I am focused on "here", I am also concerned about the possible freezes down in the southern states that may damage crops. Here's hoping you manage to stay up above freezing!