Damn it’s cold. The thermometer on the back porch read 2 degrees this morning and the talking heads on the telly say wind chills are 20 degrees below in many parts of Southwestern Virginia.

The wind howled all night but none of it made it into the house. The insulation did its job, the windows did not rattle and the combination of electric baseboards and gas logs in the fireplace kept everything warm and toasty.

But, sooner or later, I have to go out there into the cold, harsh reality of a Blue Ridge Mountain winter morning.

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