We've had a record-breaking cold spell these last many days. Every morning I shuffle down to the kitchen and open the blinds to check the outside thermometer, hoping that this will be the day the mercury has warmed up past zero°. Nope.
I went to university in Fairbanks, Alaska, where each February the temperature drops to –30° for a solid two weeks, so I realize that I'm a wuss for even suggesting that our current air has a chill to it. If you've never walked out in –30° weather, you don't know the meaning of cold. Heaven forbid you have earrings in your lobes, because those posts will feel like tiny rods of liquid nitrogen. And you better pray you can see without your glasses, because wearing frames across your nasal bone at –30° will give new meaning to the phrase, brain freeze.
If there's one thing I learned from living through Fairbanks winters as a broke college student, it's gratefulness. As I sit here, many years removed from those times of suffering, I am immensely thankful for a heated, attached garage that allows me to transfer the babies from house to car without exposing them to the harsh elements. After years of living in apartments, sometimes lucky enough to score an assigned space (but most of the time having to park on the street), I so appreciate my husband parking out in the cold so that I don't have to plug in my minivan, scrape its windows, and warm it up for 10 minutes before driving. Speaking of minivan, I don't care that it's a frumpy, low-status mommy mobile. I love her reliable engine, heated seats, and handy cupholders for our mugs of hot beverages.
I feel incredibly blessed also for our house—sturdy and comfortable and toasty warm— and our woodburning stove—crackling and cozy and helping us save money on our heating bill. I recall, oh so clearly, living in married student housing where we had to wear layers of clothing and 2 pairs of socks to stay warm, close the curtains over iced windows to keep the cold air from wafting into the room, and place a rolled towel underneath the door to block the freezing draft.
Sitting here in my soft fleece robe and fuzzy slippers, sipping my cup o' joe, I am one grateful blogger. And thinking about all my bloggy friends makes even my heart feel warm * awkward pause * I've gone too far, haven't I? Moving right along . . .
I hope you got a chance to check out the full moon over the weekend, or even over the past week, since it seemed to keep getting bigger and closer over the course of several days (I'm pretty sure the moon can change its size and location). Up here in the frozen north, we actually saw it best in the daytime! I wish I had some awesome pictures to show you, but all I've got are these:
taken at about 4:30 in the afternoon
taken at about 10:00 in the morning
(to get an idea of how ginormous the moon looked,
check out Sleeping Lady to the left—that's a very large mountain)
Dinner last night: chicken-rice-and-mushroom soup, cheesy ranch bread