Negative ten reads the shivering little outdoor thermometer clinging to the porch post for warmth. Across the yard and buried in the tree line, the rising sun is engaging in a vicious war with the frozen breath of winter for the reading thermometer. Around the barnyard, curious little animals lift their heads and turn their sleepy eyes on the battle raging in the East, before turning back and snuggling deeper into their bedding for just a few more minutes of shuteye.
Inside the house, the inhabitants are slow to stir, as one misplaced toe could result in a chilling shock. The covers are warm, the bed is soft, the body is relaxed—I mean, why disturb a good thing? Such was the reasoning when Daddy's sudden, resonating, deep: "Get Up!" shook the rafters. A leisurely stretch above the blankets immediately sends one scampering back deeply into the warmth of their bedding for a few more blissful seconds of the wonderful warmth.
Throwing off the covers and leaping bravely out into the cold air, sleep-filled eyes squint into the morning sun filling the window. Despite the rays, the outside world looks no warmer for the wear. The frosty stillness is accented by sparkling snow reflecting back the sun's efforts. Even the trees are sparkling with frosted diamonds; their branches clattering stiffly like chattering teeth in the cold. Steam rises in puffs from the snouts of the barnyard animals, as they munch their breakfasts and enjoy the sun's attempts to rid the frost that had gathered on their backs during the night.
After pulling on thermals, sweaters and wool socks, everyone heads for the warm rocket stove bench to soak in a little warmth before heading out into the frozen tundra. By the time breakfast had been swallowed, the thermometer cheered on the sun's efforts by sporting a big "0" reading. It's mornings like these, as I watch my brothers bundle until eyes are all that's left exposed, that I'm glad for my morning indoor chore routine.
As the warm milk hisses into a pail, with any misplaced shots immediately freezing to the sides of the bucket, the boys encourage the cows with the upcoming week's forecast: sun wins!
...Or so they say.