The Wild Whims of January 2014

Back in the good ole days, January was cold. Cold. COLD. We would ice-skate for weeks on frozen ponds, glide across ice-crusted snow on our toboggans, and endured  bitter, blowing snow that piled drifts over fences, bushes and driveways.  The bad snow storms were called blizzards.

Fast forward to January 2014.  The weather channels hype the storms calling them an Atlas or Arctic Vortex and giving them names.  We never heard of an Atlas Blizzard or Arctic Vortex before this winter. The mid-west and northern states have experienced some cruel weather this year that should be classified in the extreme weather categories.   But Virginia? When we had our first winter blast of arctic cold earlier in the month they said anyone under 40 would not remember this cold of weather!  And it was cold. Zero degrees begs to be taken seriously. It is dangerously cold and the wind chill makes it even colder. People and animals can die if not properly protected.  We must prepare, take cautions and use common sense. It lasted two days.

My parents generation walked to school. One lady told me last week that she walked 3 miles one way to school every day, including winter. Snow days meant you were walking to school in the snow not sitting at home watching TV or sleeping until midmorning.  This week school canceled when the prediction of snow (2-4 inches) was to start at 4 PM and they were only going a half day because of exams. What kind of wimps have we become?  It is called fear. Fear of a lawsuit.

January is suppose to be cold. I remember one winter years ago-maybe in the late 70’s- when we had frigid weather most of the month here in central Virginia. The water pipes froze in the ground and with the dairy farm that was a huge mess and problem. We thought winter would never end. Old timers talk about ice-skating on the James River.  I can’t imagine how cold it would have to be to freeze the mighty James.

This year January has been unique.  In the first 23 days we have had 8 days of rain ( 3.1 “) and 2 snow storms (1″ and 2”). Half of those days were sunny and gorgeous with temperatures soaring to 60 degrees and half were cold, windy and FRIGID!  I wrote on the calendar 18 degrees on the 4th, 42 on the 6th and 0 on the 7th. It was a balmy, warm 55 on the 11th, COLD on the 18th and 60 degrees on the 20th. The last three days were cold, snowy and in the teens.  And I must not fail to mention the fog, mud, stunning sunsets, gorgeous sunrises, and the thunder and lightning storm.

I think January 2014 will properly be remembered for it’s wild whims and we still have 8 days to go!

A few pictures highlighting the month….


















  1. Linda Burkholder Said:

    A good chilling morning from Stuarts Draft–it was minus six here at 6:30 and still is! I really enjoy reading your musings and the pix you post to go along with them make them extra-special. 🙂

    Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2014 03:10:43 +0000 To:

  2. Fiona Said:

    Wonderful photos, you can feel the crisp bite to the air and I can hear the creak of the front end Loader in the cold. Are we simply not as tough as our parents and grandparents were? Our winter gear is of much higher quality but people seem cold? I still marvel at what people wear [or don’t wear] on their feet in cold weather! I hope your livestock is doing well, the cold should help with some insect pests next summer! Keep Warm!

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