Thursday, January 03, 2008


When I opened my eyes three hours ago, this thermometer registered closer to -10'F. It is now 8:30 AM EST and we have warmed up to 2 below 0' F. With the wind that is stirring things up out there, my guess is we are in the negative 20s with the wind chill.

Quite the contrast to yesterday when I was shoveling snow in my shirt sleeves. It is so cold that even Bob, our cat who lives to live outside, has decided that indoors is the place to be today. He barely looked up from the comfort of the quilt when I went in to take this picture of "Arthur". Stubby has been out 4 times for a total of maybe 3 minutes. Long enough to take care of business and scoot right back here.I imagine at least 2 of her expeditions were just to make sure she had been right the first two times. And to score a biscuit for being a good dog and not running off with that bad influence, Buttercup, the neighbor's yellow Lab.

This temperature is nothing unusual here in Maine this time of year. Whenever we get into a cold spell, I always think about how folks from the past dealt with this. Not the Pilgrims or the Vikings, but homo sapiens when we all lived in caves before fireplaces, coal, or oil were invented.

I'd like to think I have a clue how it was. I have done some winter camping in tents and cooked over open fires in negative degree conditions. But being bundled up in warm technology and using 20th century equipment to defeat the cold is a far cry from what they must have done to deal with such harsh conditions.

But cold is cold. No matter if you are parked in a below 0 down sleeping bag or wrapped up in Mastadon fur blankets. The air feels the same. Frozen nose hairs and lungs aching had to be conditions dealt by both of us.

Just figured I would share what I think about that.

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