With Eyes Froze Shut


farm pix 033.jpg
One of our children playing outside BEFORE his eye froze shut

You might ask yourself what kind of parent would:
1) let their children play outside when it is -30 degrees (not counting windchill)
2) let they play outside long enough that their eyes froze shut.

I'm that parent. We were on Day 4 of of blizzard/life threatening cold that had cancelled school for 2 days and an additional two days where the buses couldn't get within 2.5 miles of our farm to pick up our kids. Hence, the outdoors kids. I never had 4 contiguous snow days in my life!

What's more, our power went out yesterday morning. Among the crisis this caused was our well line froze UNDER the barn floor and the potential for our central boiler (wood boiler) in our backyard to geyser scaling water into the -37 degree air (it didn't) .

Through all this I was single minded, completely focused, obsessively working to.... MAKE COFFEE. In a crisis I must first have my coffee. After rigging up a bunch of candles under a pan I realized that I no actual plan for cooking anything without power. With an electric stove I'm, politely, out-of-luck.

I will tell you this. In the Cities there are layers upon layers of conveniences that make severe weather a theoretical issue. Bad weather is, in large part, not even an inconvenience. Out here on the prairie- a single family- it is another matter. The elements are right against you, a raw and exposed feeling. There is a but a thin wall between my family's well being and the cold and blizzard. When I drive into the Cities- I can feel the layers of soothing complexity and comforts abounding. But my eyes see things differently than others -- I see those underpinnings as a fragile balance with tenuous supports.

In the mean time, the water came back yesterday afternoon. Kids are none the worse for the exposure to life threatening cold. I should have included the photo Alma took of me with my elbow on the table, head resting in my palm, bottle of chokeberry wine in hand.


PLEASE DO NOT LET MY GRANDCHILDREN PLAY OUTSIDE IN THIS WEATHER! Do you know firstaid for hypothermia? and do you know the people at high risk for hypothermia are "the elderly, the very young, and very lean" Seems that that covers at least some of us.

Uh oh. Mike said- don't post that it will just upset your mother! We kept a close eye on them and they came back in not even feeling cold.

Oh! Plus - I DISTINCTLY remember you letting me play outside in Bloomington in -100 wind chill. I remember thinking it would be interesting to see what -100 felt like. And I lived to tell. ;-)

I was thinking over my impetuous previous comment after I went to bed last night, and decided that I'd better apoligize, I don't doubt your good sense in caring for the darlings. Re the -100 degree temperature in Bloomington, I would guess that was probably a throw-away remark, such as "Keep your scarf over your cheeks, it's a hundred below zero out there!" (Not that your parents ever exaggerated on any important observations.) Hey, the temperature is going up today...let's go outside and play. Love Mom


kathy - your not alone...in going crazy - we too had two days off of school for extreme cold too. Mine ventured out for less than 5 min, and that was good enough. I'm so sorry that happened with your water and electricity. I thought of that while we were going through the -30 here, that what if scenerio - you lived it! And look, your still going.

Jens you are a true minnesotin' way to go you tough little feller. Love aunt kelley


I just found your blog through a comment you left on Sharon's blog.

This post made me laugh out loud - I hope that's not cruel to your poor frozen little boy. We're in sunny southern CA but we are strongly considering a move to much more frigid parts of the country. I have a feeling with my stir-crazy outdoor loving child I could easily see a situation where this would happen to us too.

the cold winter weather can be very dangerous if you do not wrap up warm when outside.

I'm right with you! Reminds me of our winters on the lake (Lake Michigan)with the kids.

Wouldn't trade those experiences for anything in the world, and neither would they...

Thanks for your share!
p.s. they're grown now, and we still refer to them as "The Kids"

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on January 16, 2009 4:35 AM.

The Granary Coop- Ortonville Minnesota was the previous entry in this blog.

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