The temperature is in the single digits and dropping. Severe wind chill expected overnight but just a breeze at the moment. The tide is ebbing, carrying ice floes swiftly past the lighthouse. Occasionally, I hear a commotion outside. It is the ice settling and cracking as the water level drops. I am warm inside the parlor by the coal stove, but the mere thought of the frigid water outside makes me shiver. Some friends stopped by earlier today before the temperature started dropping. One friend grew up in Minnesota. “Is it cold yet?” we asked. “You call this cold,” is his usual response. He admitted that the sub-zero windchill forecasted for tomorrow meets his standard for coldness. Conversation drifted towards tales of frostbite and hypothermia. Usually, talk of the weather is inconsequential. Under present conditions, it is cautionary and sometimes morbid. Cold water drownings. Signs of frostbite. Supporting thickness of ice. Enough said. I think I’ll just stay here by the coal stove and drink hot toddies tonight.