Winter has arrived in Augusta, GA. Looking out the windows today, the weather was beautiful--clear blue, sunny skies--but setting foot out of doors was a severe shock--hats and gloves mandatory. The chill kind of took the breath away (I have completely reacclimatized to the warm South, and this blast from the frozen North is a rude reminder of what I must endure in two weeks' time).
My thanksgiving today is for good insulation and central heating. When I was young, I would often fall asleep at night imagining Laura Ingalls Wilder's experiences in The Long Winter, when she and her sisters would shiver their way to bed in rooms where the exposed roof-shingle nails were covered with frost. On my first trip to Russia almost 20 years ago, we were told that the students at the university where we studied left their coats and gloves on indoors during the colder months. And in the Korean War of 1950-1953, some wounded survived terrible injuries because their blood froze on exposure to the frigid air. I am glad to be able to sleep where it's cool but not frosty, to not have to wear my coat indoors from November-April, and to not fear exsanguination whatever the weather (well, I hope to see Rachel and the NPV in DC, so I shouldn't celebrate that last just yet!).