New Year

Happy 2018: Dang It’s Cold

So how cold is it? As I write this post on the first day of 2018, it is -7 Fahrenheit. (For my UK friends that is -21.6667 Celsius, which makes it sound a whole lot colder.) High today is expected to be 6, oh boy. This arctic blast is not supposed to end any time soon. I offer my sympathies to those living north of us.

Dang, it’s cold.

I hear the furnace cranking below us in the cellar as it heats our apartment and the two above us. I’m glad none of us are paying for it. After the pipes froze in the second-floor bathroom, the landlord dropped offer space heaters. Yes, we’ve got that going, too.

Our new, old house in Shelburne Falls Village, which is undergoing renovations, is doing just fine with a relatively new furnace. There’s a woodstove in Hank’s workshop, which does its job after it’s been fired up.

Yes, it’s a good time to work inside, such as assisting Hank at the house. (I am definitely his unskilled helper although an expert cleaner and hauler of demolition materials.) I write, read, and now that I’m working with an editor on Chasing the Case — my mystery coming out in late spring — I go through her edits.

Not everyone is as lucky as I am. Some people have to work outside. On my weekly dump run last Wednesday, Russell, who runs the transfer station, was outfitted in lined canvas coveralls and insulated boots. I told him, “Russell, you are the best-dressed man in town.” He laughed.

Speaking of clothing. Long johns are officially a part of my wardrobe until spring. When I got some money for Christmas, I spent it on more long johns and some really warm mittens. I wear layers and a hat. I’m not fooling around.

The Deerfield River in our back yard is covered with ice where the flow is low and close to the village of Shelburne Falls.

Folks ask if we miss living in Taos, New Mexico because it’s been so cold here in Western Massachusetts. Actually, Taos has a real winter because it is 7,200 feet high on the mesa and a lot more in the mountains. My understanding, however, is that it’s been a mild winter there so far, but that can change. I will admit with the sun, Taos never seemed as cold as this. I recall sitting outside in 40-degree weather and feeling as if it were 20 degrees warmer.

But the answer is no. This is where we live now, and I’ll just tough it out.

One more thing: yes, this is the first day of the new year. Do I make resolutions? I prefer goals. I’ve been pondering them for the past few days. Putting them down in writing will be another indoor task. By the way, I did really well with the ones I made in 2017.

Last year was packed with events big and small including a 2,400-mile move from New Mexico to New England. We sold a home and bought another. I made progress with my writing by signing with Crooked Cat Books. I wrote two mysteries — have begun another — and self-published one of my hilltown novels. We had family milestones including the arrival of a new granddaughter, Corinna.

I anticipate the momentum will continue into 2018. Dang!

AUTHOR SERIES: I will leave this post up for a couple of days and then return with my series on fellow Crooked Cat Books authors. Next up is Val Penny.

ONE LAST THING: Thank you to everyone who supported my writing last year by buying and reading my books. Here is a link to my books on Amazon, including my most recent, The Sweet Spot, set in Western Massachusetts. They’re not free, but they are for the taking. Check them out: Amazon