Then there's the task of keeping the homefires burning brightly amidst this Arctic blast. Just how brightly varies with the dwindling dimensions of the wood pile. Each frigid day pares it down more and we add more layers of clothing. Amazing how one can tolerate 53 degrees in the living room and 49 degrees in the bedroom by donning a couple more wool sweaters and a good wool hat. I have to laugh at the industry-standard of 68 (tropical) degrees, evenly dispersed throughout the house. Dream on!
We never stop wondering if we put by enough firewood. Not just any old wood will do. We need the BTU's of oak and locust, and close by, too, dried over the past summer so the chimney doesn't coat itself with combustible creosote. And by the way, I'm lucky to have a guy who is still able to pull on that chainsaw starter cord a dozen times without giving up, not to mention sawing with it after it starts, and who also doesn't mind getting up several times a night to feed the fire.
Fire and ice. Not too much fire. Not too much ice. Just enough to let you know that you're experiencing winter. And it's beauty is not to be missed.