February, the month of the black ice, as the Native Americans called it 

In January when our temps dipped below zero a few times, I heard someone say that the rest of the world was laughing at all the fuss Americans made over a little cold weather.  In a sense, they are right. 

Think about the first waves of settlers who came from Europe.  After surviving the difficulties of a six week nautical nightmare only to find that there were no ready-made homes for them.   They had to construct some cabins and at worst, a simple lean too as shelter.  It has been said that the cycle of winter had come as the coldest, most bitter winter in about two hundred years.    Never mind central heating, space heaters, heating centers, warm libraries or shopping malls.  Welcome to your new life in America.   No wonder so many perished before they really had a chance to settle in.

When I hear that the temperature here in North East Ohio is going to drop to ten or twelve degrees, I now have the luxury of staying home and not taking any chances about being stuck somewhere or contributing to the chaos on the slippery roads.  I do remember all the years of having to brave the elements and face the music, like the rest of the work force.

When we lived in Illinois it was not unusual to have much colder temperatures than I’ve experienced here.  If memory serves me correct, it was often as much as eighteen degrees below zero and that was before forecasters were calculating “wind chill factor.”   The apartment we lived in had no car port, so I had to go out every evening and run the car for fifteen or twenty minutes to be sure it would start in the morning.  On one visit from my parents, my father lined the inside of the car under the hood with cardboard as extra insulation to keep the engine from freezing.   

I am thankful that my current car has its own little house to protect it from the elements while I am safely indoors keeping warm.


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