The cold arctic blast hit early last night and the snow began falling just before daybreak. I am warm and toasty sitting near the fireplace. Jumping from task to task, I hope to accomplish much before family begins to arrive for the Christmas Weekend.
Outdoor temperature is below the zero mark. Winds are steady at about twenty miles per hour. Climate geeks can figure the windchill. I just know it was bitter cold when I moved the trash can back up to the house once the garbage truck rumbled by.
Of course, Sophie the cat does not understand the outdoors is no place for man or beast this morning. She whines each time I pass by the door to the backyard. Days like this it is important to look out for those creatures that do not reason well.
I feel for any outdoor laborer today. Hopefully power will remain on. And construction workers can find inside work. Fortunately, I took advantage of the warm air before the arctic blast yesterday to complete my outdoor chores.
Arctic Blast Sets Records
Living on the High Plains of America, it is not unusual to experience wide swings in temperature. But the temperature drop usually occurs over hours. Last night, the arctic blast took just minutes.
Late afternoon yesterday, large swarms of small birds flew in clusters. Unsettled and unlike normal habits, they did not alight on the trees. Instead, they swirled as if a group of bats flying from the Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk. Visions of the movie The Day After Tomorrow came to mind. Fortunately, the drop was not that extreme.
Nonetheless, going from above freezing to negative digits in about thirty minutes would be disastrous without warning. Such must have accord in earlier times. The Towner Bus Tragedy comes to mind.
Furthermore, this was not the first freeze of the year. Hopefully, winter kill will be at a minimum in the garden. It is doubtful the rosemary will overwinter even in the spots I covered yesterday. The last-minute harvest of sage and rosemary will be enjoyed Christmas Day.
Warming the Home
In addition to a fire in the fireplace, the ovens will heat up the kitchen as I make sugar cookies for the granddaughters to decorate Christmas Eve. A new loaf of bread is needed for tonight’s dinner as well as other breads needed for Christmas dinner. We hope to have a Baker’s Dozen on Sunday.
Finally, the laundry room door will stay open as the final loads are cleaned before guests arrive. Summertime is great for drying outdoors on the clothesline. But the convenience of an indoor dryer is one to appreciate during this arctic blast. I remember my grandmother hanging clothes indoors from long ago Christmases. Even North Texas can get too cold for an outdoor clothesline in late December.
Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate the holiday.