How cold is it? Plenty cold where I am here in Kentucky. When I peeked at the thermometer this a.m. it showed minus 8. While that might not be so chilly for some of you northern folks, down here in the almost south, it’s cold. But worse, they say it’s not supposed to get over 5 degrees today. And that’s with the sun shining! Something is definitely not right about that!! We don’t even want to hear those wind chill numbers. Or feel them either. Then the night temps are something like minus 17.
My dog, Oscar, wasn’t too happy about having to go outdoors to do those necessary things. Normally he doesn’t mind snow, but this stuff is a little too deep for him. He’s been a trooper and gone walking with me anyway, but the wind chill may make the walks short today. Walking through snow like this can give you a good workout for sure.
There’s naturally been a lot of talk about the cold and whether the temperatures will be record lows. The all time record low here in Kentucky is minus 21 in 1963. I remember that. I grew up in an old farmhouse that’s only insulation were the old logs on the two front rooms from when it was a log cabin and the plastic my dad nailed over the big old windows every winter.
That didn’t happen to the upstairs window in the room where I slept. I won’t say snow drifted through it, but it felt like it might at times. For sure, when it was time to get up and leave your warm cocoon in the featherbed behind and your feet hit that unheated floor, you woke up quick. We had a woodstove in the living room and a little of the heat drifted up the stairs to the front room there. That was my sister’s room.
We closed off every room except the living room and the kitchen. We called the closed off dining room the refrigerator room. But even with only two rooms to heat, the kitchen was still cold after they took the wood cookstove out. Mom got an electric range when the electric lines came out our road. I don’t remember that, but my sister does. For a while Mom left the wood cookstove in the kitchen but it was gone by 1963 when we had that record cold. She probably wished it back that year. She cooked and cleaned with an insulated jacket on.
But cold or not, we always ate our meals at the table in the kitchen. Snacks might happen in the living room, but not meals. We did have some good snacks in the winter. Our homegrown popcorn. Mom could pop corn better than anybody. Sometimes we made chocolate fudge to go with it. Hard to beat popcorn and homemade candy. Hot cocoa was another treat. Mom sometimes made snow cream, but I was never a fan of it. Give me the fudge. 🙂 But we didn’t have to worry much about the calories. After all, we were packing in the wood, feeding the chickens and dogs and cats and other animals. Walking in the snow. Even then, I loved walking in the snow with my dogs.
That kind of cold temperatures and one stove did make for family togetherness. Nobody ran off to their own room although occasionally I’d sit in the staircase and read or listen to the basketball games on my little radio. We fought over the chair closest to the stove and spent a lot of time standing by the stove warming our back sides and then turning to toast our fronts.
It was cold, but we didn’t have to worry about paying the heating bill. That was paid in our own energy. Dad’s in cutting down the trees and sawing it into firewood and ours in packing it into the backporch and Mom’s or Dad’s in keeping the fire going. We had our own meat hanging in the smokehouse and or in the freezer. The cellar was stocked with all kinds of canned foods and a barrel of potatoes. We were okay. So many good memories of those years for me now.
So how is the weather where you are? And how cold is the coldest time you can remember? Hope, like mine, they are good memories even if it was cold!