I had been gone for ten days. When I woke up yesterday morning, it was 30 degrees – and that was inside the cabin. Though I had had a fire the previous night, the first few fires warm the air only, and at night the coldness of the structure reasserts itself. A book, for instance, will be room temperature on its spine, but when I open it, its interior pages will still be freezing cold. I washed some grapes with water which had just barely thawed, but the surface of the grapes was still around 30 degrees – so the water froze as it touched them, forming little sheets of ice like cellophane.
There was a lot of thawing while I was gone. The snow melted and compacted, and is only about five inches deep, but it is now solid as ice, and about four more inches fell yesterday.
Very peaceful here. Reading Pushkin, recovering from the visit to the city. It takes some time to readjust to the physical difficulties here.