Now, we here in the mid-South do get freezing temperatures every year or so — for about a day or maybe two or three at the most. Not uncommon at all — we have to have a reason to wear all those scarves and gloves we got for Christmas, you know. But this week-long run of sustained bitter cold we’re in right now is a bit unusual. We’re talking really and truly cold here — pipe-bursting, fountain-freezing, thermal underwear-wearing, do-not-go-outside-without-your coat-and-hat cold. Brrrrrrrr. I was driving through downtown Florence, Alabama, on Monday afternoon and had to look twice at this hotel fountain to realize it was frozen absolutely solid. Younger Daughter just got back from a trip to Portland, Maine, to visit her very cool uncle and aunt (my younger brother and his wife) and except for the snow she said she feels as if she’s still there. Also except for the warming effects of napping with their 125-pound Alaskan malamute, Thule. Although in Maine folks are probably experienced enough to turn their fountains off when freezing weather threatens. I’m just saying.