Someone once told me I had no idea what it was like living in the city. Being cold, lonely and very little food. Having a life that seemed to just trap you in a never ending cycle. I am sorry to say, I do know some of those feelings. This latest stretch of cold weather brings a lot of those memories back to the front. I will stop a moment to admit some of this is just the way things went. Over the years of being cold and hungry, I learned ways to feel better. The being hungry part was a bit difficult to conquer at times. But the being cold was easier to overcome. There were hard times. I felt like putting on three layers of clothes. Just as soon as the feet hit the floor. Just about the only thing I have never done is start with the snowsuits. Once the body felt warmer, then the day began. The first thing of course, was the wood stove. Fire that ole bugger up. The distance from the stove with that first cup of coffee varied. If the stove was not red hot yet, then you felt like sitting on the stove. Eventually you could relax and actually sit at the table.  I have a sun room on the south side of my castle. This is great but not great when darkness and below zero weather is here. There are curtains on the windows, but that only slows the cold down some. I have had to come up with different methods of feeling warm. The first thing is move the inside temperature indicator closer to the stove. As I sit here and ponder the days activities, I glance over and see what the temperatures are.  One shows the outside temperature. It indicates a minus 10 below zero. The inside temperature to begin with was only 55 degrees above. After starting the coffee and the wood stoves, the temperature begins to climb. Now that I have moved the gauges closer to the stove, it is nice and warm. It shows a temperature of almost 68 degrees. The body immediately feels a lot warmer. You see the mind tells you if it is warm or cold. Well to a certain point that is. If the legs are turning purple and you can’t stop shaking then ya cold. But I do try to convince the body to tolerate temperatures around the 50 degree range. With the wood stove going it will soon be up into the more comfortable range.

There are other little things I do to make it warm in here. I begin to make the living area a bit smaller as the temperatures go down. There has been only two days I even attempted that this winter.  I can always move my chairs closer to the stove if I was chilly. I realize normal people just might not live like this. But it works quite well for me. I have been able to throw the refrigerator out. This saves me money.. I can get a sun tan when the sun comes out. This helps me feel better. I can start the day out wearing long johns and three layers of shirts. But finish the day wearing only my bathing suit. Its kinda like going from Alaska to Florida and not leaving the farm. If I really really do feel the cold sinking into the furniture, I will turn all heat producing items up. There is plenty of wood and pellets I can feed the stoves. I might even do the dishes and do my laundry. To just sit still and complain, will not help at all. This is all a part of having lived poor and cold. Keeping the body warm and the mind healthy is the goal during the winter months. Soon the snow will start to fade away and trees will bud out. Then one can begin to think about what needs to be done for next winter.  Summers in Rangeley, is to get ready for next winter. We do in all reality have over six months of snow some years. Stay warm folks, spring is coming.    Ken White…. Not frozen yet….


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