But I do remember those mornings when I wasn't warm inside. Mornings when going out to the barn seemed to go against every ounce of the scant bit better judgement I possessed as a teenager. Those mornings. In the dark. When the cold took your breath away and made your lungs and nose ache. When you were half asleep and you felt the cold worse than normal. When you walked into the barn that was only slightly warm. At 20 degrees, cows do a great job of keeping a barn warm with their body heat. At 20 below, they are needing a little back up. I used to give myself pep talks. "Feeling the cold is a mental thing. Just stop thinking about it!" Which never did too much, but made me feel better. If you are giving yourself pep talks, you haven't died of the cold yet. There is nothing energy efficient about single paned windows, barn doors, haymow chutes, concrete, or having to raise the huge door to move the tractor out a bit to clean the gutter. The tractor never wanted to start when it got that cold. The smell of ether would mix with Ty's singing and muttered "Piece of junk!"s and "Cotten-pickin'!"s Finally things got sorted out, the sun came came up, and milking was done. Rubbing bag balm onto my chapped hands, I would head inside to shower quick before school. If I didn't have time to do my hair before I had to leave, my hair would freeze into frosty sticks.
Those mornings seemed miserable. But nothing made us love the mornings we didn't have to go out like those mornings. Hearing Dad call for Lindsey instead of me and snuggling down into my eiderdown and flannel was glorious. Those mornings are part of the reason I enjoy my warmth so much now. I remember what it feels like to leave it. It is precious, this warmth.