Up close look at a dusting of "diamonds" on the outside railing.

Brrrrrr! It’s COLD outside!

A Handmaid News

For our Sisters who have spent any significant time in our priories we used to have in Vermont and Illinois, where winters are harsh and long, East Tennessee is a veritable paradise climatologically. While we do hear words like global warming now and again, it has been far from our thermometers this year when extreme cold hit the eastern part of the US. We began the New Year rising in the morning to 12 deg F and no electricity in one house. Fortunately, great Saint Joseph came through quickly. The phenomena of stiff mops was also interesting and brought back memories from both our days in the New Mexico mountains and Vermont, pulling in frozen linens on the outdoor clotheslines and hoping not to break the fabric.

Can I come in? It looks warm in there!

Can I come in? It looks warm in there!

The second cold snap in the roller coaster thermometer ride we had brought another phenomena rare to these parts: diamond dust. The air began to sparkle with falling ice particles without a cloud in the sky. But our particulate rich (read ‘dusty’) valley had just the right amount of particles for the ice to form on. We share a few photos here noting that at about 14 deg F the best location from which to observe this delightful spectacle is facing into the sun…and looking through a sturdy window.

Photo Gallery Below: Click on an image to enlarge.

Most of all the cold weather increases our gratitude to God and our benefactors for the blessings we have and also raises our prayers on behalf of everyone struggling in this season.