Today is the anniversary of the coldest day on record here in East Tennessee, -24 degrees back in 1985. I remember it vividly because my father and I got stuck in the snow (we had well over a foot, I do believe) about a half mile from our house and had to walk the rest of the way. That’s the coldest I’ve ever been in my life. The walk up and down hills in that snow was strenuous, and my lungs burned from breathing the frigid air. I was 12, so to me it was a big adventure, but I remember my father being gravely worried about our exposure for that long.
The next morning, we left early to open his store, and my grandfather helped get us unstuck. We used a woodstove to heat the store, and before I got the fire going, I remember every surface inside the building being ice cold. Some items in glass jars had busted from freezing, which had never happened before and didn’t happen again for as long as he owned the store. By noon the temp was up to 26 degrees, and Dad pointed out that the temperature had risen 50 degrees and was still below freezing. Remembering that night and morning makes the weather today seem not so bad.