Who Can Stand?

A polar vortex is coming. Cliff, a farmer south of town, reported on Facebook, “The temperature dropped from 37° to 14° with a windchill factor of -2° in two minutes!”  

They predict a windchill factor of -53° on Wednesday! Facebook was full of posts telling us how to prepare for this arctic cold. I spent the day preparing.

  1. I shut all the sheers, blinds, and drapes on the north and west sides of the house. (Yes, I dress my windows in layers., see here.) I won’t open them until this bitter cold passes.
  2. I opened the cupboard doors under the sinks. I want them heated up now. (I insulated behind my north kitchen cupboards, see here.) 
  3. I set the thermostat at 70° and pushed “hold” on my programmable thermostat.
  4. I made sure all the vents were open. I placed step stools against the drapes next to the registers to keep them back.
  5. I took the allergy filter out of the furnace and replaced it with a regular one. The furnace has to work harder to move air through the allergy filter.
  6. I stapled white towels over the curtains in the basement windows.
  7. I filled 2 buckets with water. If a pipe burst, either here or a city pipe, I can use this water to flush the toilet.
  8. I removed the dryer vent and stuffed it with a towel. I braced it against the back of the dryer with a small table to stop any cold air coming in.
  9. I put a pair of pantyhose over the dryer exhaust and used duct tape to secure it. I checked it after each load.
  10. I washed clothes right before David came home from work. The dryer warmed up his bathroom in the laundry room.
  11. Half of my clothes are in the guest bedroom. I got out long underwear, sweaters, and scarves. I made outfits for the rest of the week. I’m writing this post at 5:00 a.m. I’m wearing long john pants, jeans, a long-sleeved crew neck tee-shirt, a long-sleeved v-neck tee-shirt, a sweater, a scarf, and a vest! I will remove layers as needed. I dress based on the temperature each day. (You can read the guidelines here.)
  12. When the sun went down, I shut the register in the guest room. I moved our wedding picture to the office because frost could form. (Frost makes pictures stick to the glass.) I moved the guitar to the kitchen. You have to protect your instruments. I shut the door and won’t open it until Friday or Saturday.
  13. I got out the 2nd pair of lace-up shoes, my slippers, and my robe. I hung the robe on the back of the door. My shoes and slippers are under the piano and my outfits are on the bench. I won’t open my closet door until this weekend, too.
  14. I started filling empty pitchers with filtered water. They are for drinking and cooking if we lose water.
  15. David is using the door to our attached garage to enter and exit the house. We will not open the front door. 

My plan today is to finish filling the pitchers. Then I will move all liquids out of the north cupboards. I don’t want to wake up to frozen food. I will get out my “butter bell.” It keeps the butter soft even in a cold room.  

It will be colder than a body can stand. I pray for the workers who will have to go out. I pray for the farmers with livestock. I pray for the elderly who have trouble maintaining body heat. I pray no lives are lost.  

1 Samuel 6:19-20, “God struck some of the men of Beth Shemesh who, out of curiosity, irreverently peeked into the Chest of God. Seventy died. The whole town was in mourning, reeling under the hard blow from God, and questioning, ‘Who can stand before God, this holy God?’…” The Message 


I’m taking this forecast seriously. I’m making potato soup, chili, and spaghetti sauce over the next three days to keep moisture in the air upstairs.  

What have I missed? Do you have any suggestions?  

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