Schools are closed again today. I think this is the fifth day so far this winter.
We were apparently in a "warm" part of the county as we had only -16° overnight. Many areas not too far from us had -25°. The part that made it nasty was that we all had bad winds again.
I think our high was around noon when the temp was -8°. The wind had died and the sun was out. That all helped make things more tolerable.
Even getting out for some fresh air and exercise has been challenging so far this winter. In the past we've gone out cross-country skiing at -20° (I think we must have been much younger . . . and dumber), but I'm having a tough time convincing myself anything longer than a short excursion outside is really necessary these days.
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Counting my many blessings, I am so thankful that we are as set up as we are and can survive these frigid temperatures with very little inconvenience or discomfort.
The old-timers around say that back in the first half of the 1900s, winters were regularly like the one we're experiencing this year. I can't help but wonder how difficult it must have been for the early homesteaders in this area. Next to no insulation in their houses, meager heating systems, isolation from town and supplies for months, inadequate clothing and footwear . . . oh, my. I'm sure the list goes on and on.
I posted this poem way back in 2009. I've kept a copy of it for many years and came across it in my files again this weekend.
Mama's mama, on a winter's day,
Milked the cows and fed them hay.
Slopped the hogs, saddled the mule,
And got the children off to school.
Did a washing, mopped the floors,
Washed the windows and did some chores.
Cooked a dish of home-dried fruit,
Pressed her husband's Sunday suit.
Swept the parlor,
Made the bed,
Baked a dozen loaves of bread.
Split some wood and lugged it in,
Enough to fill the kitchen bin.
Cleaned the lamps and put in oil,
Stewed some apples she thought might spoil.
Churned the butter,
Baked a cake,
Then exclaimed, "For mercy's sake,
The calves have gotten out of the pen!"
Went out and chased them in again.
Gathered the eggs and locked the stable,
Returned to the house and set the table.
Cooked a supper that was delicious,
And afterwards washed all the dishes.
Fed the cat, sprinkled the clothes,
Mended a basket full of hose.
Then opened the organ and began to play,
"When You Come to the End of a Perfect Day."
This dear lady didn't think her days were a challenge. She just did what needed to be done. Then got up the next morning to start all over again.
Methinks people were made of sturdier stock in those days.