January in central Minnesota. It’s cold more than words can describe. I cover my face and neck with a fleece cowl. I have to otherwise the cold nips at my cheeks, ears, nose and lips. You breathe in and exhale. Ice forms on the fleece where the breath comes in and out of it. It forms on the top edge of the cowl right above where it covers my mouth. The ice melts and refreezes and makes it feel colder.
I’m all bundled up. Heavy hiking boots and thick wool socks. A wool scarf wraps around the fleece cowl. A zip up hoodie goes on over my sweater. A wool jacket goes over that. I put on an ear muffs and put on my wool cap. I pull the cowl up so cover the bottom half of the ear muffs. The fleece gloves that I bought in Liverpool go on last. We go outside to brave the weather. It’s still cold but it’s somewhat manageable now.
The air is thin from the Arctic air. We’ve had winds blowing that shape and reshape the snow just like it reshapes sun dunes on the coast. The snow blower fired up but the chute was frozen once again. Nuts! I had to free that but managed to do so after a little effort. Back to blowing the snow off the drive and away from the mailbox down by the street. Wasn’t this the same snow that I moved yesterday after work? No matter.
There’s a sun dog in the afternoon sky and I think what a wonderful shot it would make with my camera. There’s a gust of wind that blows a cloud of snow right at me. Ugh! I adjust the chute of the snow blower so it doesn’t blow on me again. Well, at least I thought I adjusted it because it happens a couple more times before I’m done. The last chore was to make sure the dog food dish is emptied of snow and ice so I can fill it with some rabbit food. I know there’s a bunny around somewhere and maybe it will discover the food. I tease myself with the thought that I’m helping one of God’s creatures survive the cold of a Minnesota winter.
The house feels gloriously warm when I come back inside. I reverse the order of what I put on and hang it all up so it dries out. I pour a glass off apple juice. The cats are crying at me because they think they’re starving, so I feed them so they’ll quit crying. The fire place goes on and a lazy boy gets comfortable in a La-Z-Boy recliner. The heat from the fireplace feels good and the apple juice tastes sweet. The sun sets and it gets dark quick and the lights of my neighbor’s homes start to flicker on.
Maybe I can think of something to write tonight. I’m not sure I would want to give this up and live someplace else.