Baby, it’s cold outside

Melissa Stagnaro

It was 18 below zero this morning in Smithville Center, or as one of my friends likes to refer to it, Southwest Tyner. Thanks to the cozy warmth of the wood stove, I didn’t feel it until I stepped outside. But as soon as I ventured beyond the front door, the full force of the sub-zero temp hit me. The cold air filled my lungs, stung my cheeks and, despite the layers I was wearing, permeated my clothes. Even the crunch of the snow beneath my feet sounded different. Crunchier, some how.

I held my breath as I turned the key in my ignition, and sighed in relief when the engine turned over immediately. This is our first winter together, Mrs. Peel and I, and I wasn’t sure how she’d take the cold.

I figured I’d let her run for a minute, before pulling out of the drive, and took the opportunity to survey the frigid world around me. Stars shone brilliantly against a backdrop of deepest blue overhead. The pale light of the waning gibbous moon reflected on the unbroken snow.

It was breathtaking. Almost literally, actually, because of the extreme cold

There were a lot of people griping this morning about the super low temps, but I wasn’t one of them. (Of course, if Mrs. Peel hadn’t been quite so cooperative, I might have been singing a different tune.) As long as the car starts and the pipes aren’t frozen, I don’t mind the cold. In fact, I go as far as to venture these last four days have been the most beautiful we’ve seen this winter. I can forgive a lot – even over night temperatures dipping into the sub zero range – when the daytime skies are a crisp clear blue and the winter sun transforms the snow blanketing our rolling hills into sparkling diamonds. It’s my favorite time to go tromping in the woods on my snow shoes. (Properly layered up of course.)

The nights are so beautiful too, with the riot of stars shining overhead. Looking at them, filling my lungs with that crisp, cold air, I can’t help feel alive, invigorated and in total awe of the universe.

Of course, if you’ve got someone (furry or otherwise) to snuggle up with after venturing out in the cold, all the better.

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