Twelve below...that's what the temperature is in Fahrenheit tonight. It was zero, wind howling, when I did the children's poultry chores for them tonight, thankful that they (poultry, not kids) are tucked in with lots of straw. You bet I said a "please don't freeze" prayer over them as my numb fingers fumbled to pour them water, empty the kitchen scraps for their culinary delight and tuck them in safe for the night.
Thanksgiving, the turkey by that name who has obviously outlived her destiny, came over for a petting. The children are convinced he or she is part cat, as she rubs against their legs and loves to come visiting in nicer weather. We were anticipating turkeys as being cantankerous, but not Thanksgiving. Maybe that's why she is still alive. She even lets the smaller birds snuggle under her wings. Sean has mentioned wishing she were meaner.
Once inside, eye glasses fogged, ears aching with cold, I plunged by cold fingers under the warm faucet water and slurped down a cup of hot Earl Gray to push the chill from my bones. Sean and I warmed up the kitchen by making four apple pies while the older two kids took turns entertaining Addie and the younger three entertained and antagonized each other over toy trains. We ate a pie and a half after dinner and the rest will be breakfast tomorrow along with kefir smoothies.
Later, Sean lit our Aladdin lamp in the living room, kids layered on pajamas and soaked in the wood stove warmth before piling into beds loaded with blankets, sleeping bags and quilts.
Wherever you are tonight, I hope it's warmer than twelve below.