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.