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Friday, December 11, 2009

A Taste of Winter

We have been dodging the winter bullet all fall. Today it caught up with us. We awoke to a temperature of 34. Fortunately there was no frost this morning, but it does not look like we will be so lucky on Saturday morning when the temperature could fall into the twenties. We got cold weather much earlier last year, so we really should not complain. It is December, and much of the country is still shoveling out from a huge snow storm. Still delaying winter is one of the things that we do best. However, when we were over in Beaufort this afternoon and I noticed the temperature was stuck in the mid-thirties, I had to admit that winter has found the Crystal Coast.
Actually today, when the morning started at thirty-four and our afternoon finished at thirty-seven, would be classified as a very cold winter day here in Carteret County. Most of our winter days have highs in the forties. There are not many days when we stay in the thirties. To make matters worse, we had a stiff breeze blowing all day.

I found out about the stiff breeze blowing when I tried to take a few photographs along the Beaufort waterfront. It is one of my favorite places to visit. I love to walk along the docks. Today they were empty, and I did not brave the winds for long.,

When we got home from our visit to Beaufort, I immediately turned on our gas fireplace logs. Thirty minutes to an hour of heat from those takes any chill off the day. We keep our home at 68F in the winter. Running the gas fireplace takes the temperature up to 70F. It also heats my upstairs office to 72F which makes for a nice evening of writing.

One of the ways to survive winter here on the coast is with hearty foods. One of my favorites on a cold night is clam chowder. Our family recipe for clam chowder will banish any thoughts of cold weather.

Tonight we got back too late to fix clam chowder, but we had some food almost as hardy, black eyed pea chili made with sausage. The chili was accompanied by some homemade cornbread. Homemade cornbread is another food guaranteed to help keep the cold away.

With a light fleece jacket, jeans instead of shorts, sneakers in place of sandals, some hearty food and a few minutes of the gas fireplace, we will get through winter. In fact it is nice to have a real shot of winter so that we know we can survive these cold temperatures.

Hopefully no one from the Midwest, Northeast, or Canada will read my complaints about our temperatures in the thirties. I have already heard enough grief from my Canada friends who got a foot of snow earlier in the week. The temperatures we had today would be a heat wave for them.

They were also unimpressed when I told them I had to pick all my green tomatoes yesterday.

Here are some pictures from our trip to Beaufort.

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