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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

    Another beautifully sunny day today.  It's so cheerful when the sun shines!  I could actually feel the heat of the sun's rays on my face as I was walking at noontime even though it was very cold, like 9 above and colder facing into the wind, but when I returned and was coming up our driveway, the sun was high overhead and I could feel it actually warm on my face.  It was encouraging.
    I came across an item in a December 10, 1902 issue of the St. Johnsbury Caledonian  that the ice was perfect for skating and that January it was reported a large amount of ice was being "cut and drawn" from the pond; H. S. Dole would put 30 cords into their "enlarged ice house" for the creamery.  They were cutting ice to supply the creameries in Walden and Danville, several other local  businesses and some farms. In  December of 1903 it was reported that several mornings had been as low as 25 degrees below zero, and they were calling it "an old-fashioned winter."   Then, on March 27, 1907 there were "snow drifts 12 feet deep on the back roads and ice in Joe's Pond is nearly 30 inches thick."  There was a hint of pride in the report saying Danville is "1000 feet nearer heaven than St. Johnsbury."  Somehow every generation seems to have memories of "old fashioned winters" but over time they all seem to be pretty much the same, at least here where we're "nearer heaven."
    There was an item in today's Caledonian about cutting ice on one of the Squam lakes in New Hampshire.  Apparently there are some cottages on that pond still using ice for cooling and they cut it and put it in "insulated ice houses" so it will last all summer.  I imagine the ice houses built today are far more efficient than the old ones that were wooden sheds with ice packed in sawdust to keep it from melting.
    I had a note from one of our Joe's Ponders who winters in Tucson, Arizona, saying people are complaining there because it's so cold - 68 degrees!   That sounds about perfect to me - much warmer than that and I'm uncomfortable.  But I guess I'd complain a bit, too, if I was used to much warmer temperatures all the time.
    Speaking of comfortable - here's another Woody picture.  We open the blinds when the morning sun is on the big window on the southeast side of the house so he can look out, and today he really, really enjoyed basking in the sun, letting all loose ends hang over the edge of the bench.  He has to share the bench with the telephone, but he doesn't seem to mind - he just sprawls out with his head on the window sill and lets the rest hang.  Bird-watching can be so tiring.



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