The snow is still here, predictably. I won't keep saying that every week from now through May, I promise. Okay, I'll probably start complaining about it in April again. But this week, there was always a chance... a super faint chance... that a warm front would move in and melt away this first real snowfall. No dice, though; we are stuck with it. The city didn't even bother to send out the snowplows, because it's already November and everyone with sense had their snow tires on a month ago, and it's really a given that we have a layer of hardpack on the roads by this point. Thankful for a 4WD vehicle! I wouldn't feel safe, or like a responsible driver/parent/etc, in anything less in our winters.
The first cold of winter synchronized perfectly with the arrival of the snow: poor Little Bear hasn't been able to go out and play in it again since the first day it fell because he's been cooped up inside with a nasty head cold. He's doing his level best to share it with both parents, but we haven't quite succumbed yet... We shall see. I feel so badly for the poor child; he isn't old enough to have any idea why his nose is doing this to him--he just knows that he's miserable.
Oddly enough, having a sick little boy sleeping between us has translated to the best sleep any of us have gotten in months. Maybe he just doesn't have the energy to flail around like he usually does? Whatever the reason, it's been marvelous, even if he is snoring louder than his father.
This morning it was only 0 F when I woke up--brrr! It's still better than yesterday, though, which had only warmed up to 2 F by 5 pm. We were sorry to finally put away the fall jackets and hang the bigger leather and wool coats by the door. Time to switch to heavy gloves, start thinking about wearing hats, stock the back of the car with emergency winter gear. Little Bear has been none too happy about wearing winter boots in the car! Every time we have driven somewhere this week, he has complained about them.
Yesterday evening, Little Bear and I bundled up and drove across town to pick up a new plug end for our car timer. With the temperature falling below 0 at night, it's time to start plugging in the engine block heater, oil pan heater, etc. so that the vehicle will start in the mornings. (Yesterday morning, Matt tried to take his department's van to fix an offsite problem and it refused to start.) To avoid leaving our car plugged in and drawing current all night long, we plug the extension cord into a timer, which is plugged into the wall.
Our first winter, we bought a plastic timer because that was all they sold anywhere in town. The first time it hit -50, the plastic shattered. We just plugged it in to the wall all night for the rest of the winter . Our second winter, we looked everywhere for an old-fashioned metal timer, and eventually learned that no one even makes them anymore. Not wanting to wake up to a frozen engine block again, we decided to skip buying another plastic timer and plug in to the wall all winter. The electric bills were awful. This past summer, we found an old metal timer at a garage sale. The ground was broken off, so it needed a new plug, but the $20 total investment should be quickly made up for in savings on our electric bill!
Our light is fading quickly, along with our warmth; when I got into the car at 4 pm yesterday, the sunset was a narrow orange band across the horizon and the moon was very visible above it. Soon enough, we will be able to see the moon 24 hours a day. Having snow down helps tremendously, though: the white layer everywhere catches and reflects the light we do get, making this past week seem substantially brighter than the previous week, at least during the middle of the day.