The Decembers of my childhood were brutally cold. We lived in a converted general store and post office near a railroad in Waterloo, Montana. Our section of the Jefferson river valley was narrow. Bracketed by mountains to the west and east. In the winter, it was a wind tunnel.
Before our furnace was installed (sometime in my middle school era), we warmed our house with the three wood-burning stoves scattered about the house. I remember my mom frantically stoking the fires before we went to bed. No matter; our beds would be frozen against the walls every morning. Winter vacation during the school year was less a vacation and more an exercise in fighting off cabin fever while chopping wood.[Read More]