…..it’s -11 degrees. Not a breath of breeze. The membranes of the inside tip of your nostrils tend to freeze ever so slightly with every inhalation. You can hear the electric lines that follow the county road a fourth a mile away crackle and buzz with the cold. All is silent. The cold is oppressive and could be deadly. We spent a lot of time yesterday, just before dusk, preparing the animals for the forecasted extreme cold: layers and layers of wood chips across the ground in each of the beds then a great pile of hay. This time of year I sometimes use hay for bedding. I imagine that the animals might have a bedtime snack if they wake up in the night and need fortification because of the cold.
And then, just before my own bed (and because I’m a ninny) I make just one more check of the coop and pig palace and barn. So I pull on my winter layers of clothing, warm, thick socks and trudge out into the cold make the rounds.
Our kids are watching the most recent release of Rogue One with friends and should arrive home the same time I’m finishing up with my animal rounds. Once everyone is home and the movie’s story is told over and over, we will fall into cold beds, pull the covers up and nod off. Warm and safe. And I’ll sleep better tonight knowing our sweet animals are safe and warm too.