This is what we look like out here on 11 January 2011.
It was cold this morning, -4°, but not nearly as cold as it has been. We've had -12° with W/Cs into the -40s. That's cold. My mailbox is 70 yards from the house and on such a day the roundtrip brings on the distinctive tingle of incipient frostbite on exposed parts, of which there should be none.
If we ever get enough snow to cover over all the little sprigs of weeds and leave no bare ground whatsoever showing, then we are in big trouble. With the way the wind scours the country such a snow would mean twenty foot drifts. And a very long wait for mail or a trip to town.
There has been no such calamity for years. Back at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries they were fairly common. People could get fatally lost in white-out snowstorms, to be found later just a few yards from their house.
The appeal of this country to human beings is strange, and possibly even perverse as well.