This winter appears to be one of the colder ones, but there are far more challenges than just the cold.
On our mountainside above Roanoke, the temperature dropped to 2F on both Friday and Saturday mornings.
Friday night we talked to friends in Canada. They live north of Fredericton, New Brunswick and had just experienced some temperatures down near the point where you do not have to differentiate between Fahrenheit and Centigrade.
Years ago we were living just a mile from their home. It was a memorable day when the temperature there dropped to minus forty almost twenty seven years ago when our youngest daughter was born during a blizzard. That long ago blizzard rushed in on the coattails of some similar minus forty weather.
Weather that cold forces you to do some unusual things, but somehow we managed to survive. I still remember a couple of very cold rides on an open tractor out to feed the cows during that cold spell. I used an axe to chop through some ice so our herd could get to water.
I remember the pump to our barn stopped working. I had to haul it out and wire a new one. Until I figured out that I had to warm the insulated wire before twisting it, the insulation kept crumbling in my hands.
Then there were was the rude awakening when I sat down in my pickup truck and the seat was as hard as a rock because the moisture in the foam rubber had frozen solid. Even after the truck started I had a rough ride since the tires had a frozen flat spot in them. I later heard that tires will fracture at that temperature unless you go very slow.
I remember us digging a grave at one of the local church in temperatures near minus thirty Fahrenheit. We had to build a fire in the grave to thaw some edges as we were squaring it up. The ground was freezing solid as we dug the grave.
Then there was the time I unloaded a truck with three hundred bales of straw. I was on the wrong end of the hay conveyor having to stack the straw as it came off the truck. It is hard to work up a sweat at minus twenty-eight Fahrenheit but I did. I still remember my wife telling me that when I came inside, I had individually frosted eyebrows and even the hairs on my head were frosted. She said I looked like an abominable snowman. That is a fashion trend I am happy that I no longer have to deal with while living our dream here on the North Carolina coast.