Frosted windows

Frost formed thick along the bottom of the inside window frames and clustered along the weatherstripping up the side of the door.

For two days the furnace barely stopped running. We hung blankets over the old windows in the baby’s room and rolled towels up on the windowsills and still the temperature in her room clung to 61, maybe 62 degrees. I buried her in blankets at night and tucked hot water bottles against her back and hoped she’d sleep still.

Outside temperatures dropped negative at night but the wind chill kept it there all day; negative 30s to negative 50s, they said. I didn’t so much as step out on the porch for the mail.

“How did the frost get there? I didn’t open my windows,” one of my young piano students asked me when we told our mutual frost stories. She hadn’t told her mother yet, and I imagine she expected to get in trouble for opening windows. On Tuesday the girls noticed the frost pattern on the big living room window and we all remembered how Laura in the Little House books would draw patterns on the windows with a thimble.

I never understood how that could work, frost on the inside.

I understand now.

The arctic wind stopped blowing after just two days and the temperatures are rising this weekend into the 40s or even 50s. And I’m glad to live in a place where days like that warrant news stories; and gladder still to live in a time where furnaces run nonstop and temperatures stay at least in the 60s inside, no matter how bitter the wind.


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