My youngest and I are on the second day of our extended winter break. Yes, it is really, really cold outside. Wind chills have hit minus 50 degrees in southern Wisconsin. My friends and family up north have felt minus 70.
Maia and I did the throw-the-cup-of-boiling-water-into-the-air gig. We blew bubbles and watched them freeze and shatter before hitting the ground. I am using my deck to flash-freeze some chicken noodle soup I made yesterday. I bundled up like an Arctic Inuit to drag my garbage and recycling cans to the curb for this morning's pick-up. The furnace seems to never stop running. The dog has been caught trying to call the ASPCA after I forced him outside to do his doggy duties. He would have succeeded if he only had better nose dexterity to hit those numbers.
We are surviving.
In fact, all of us have experienced a lot worse. It is really cold, but doesn't compare to a real blizzard with treacherous roads and getting up at 3 AM in the hopes of staying ahead of the drifts. Maia and I easily drove to our local Target yesterday afternoon to pick up carpet cleaner and to stretch our legs in near-empty aisles. The sky was an incredible blue, and we placed bets on what the car's thermometer would read once we hit our destination (only a minus 10 at 2 pm).
Yesterday, I made the soup and cleaned the carpets. Today it will be baking bread and sorting out a few closets. When I find myself wanting to crawl back into bed for a long winter's nap , I just think, "WWMD?" What would Ma do? At least I don't have to twist straw to keep the house warm or grind seed wheat to keep the family fed a la The Long Winter.
Today's winter experiment will be making ice candle holders with balloons.
Winter in Wisconsin is always an adventure. Dig out those buffalo robes to stay warm. Draw pictures on icy window panes with a thimble. Bank the fire before going to bed. Make sure you have a clothes line leading from the house to the barn. Stay safe, dear Prairie Friends.