Last night I went to bed at 1:00am. I awoke at 6:00am to 8 degrees below zero. Quite cold. Not enough sleep. Later in the morning I went out to the wood pile to bring some wood in for the stove. As is often the case in below zero weather here, the air was still and the Sun was bright and strong. I looked across the street at my neighbors house and WOW, what do I see? The Sun behind this frost covered Maple tree. I race into the house, grab a camera, get back outdoors and snap this photo. Such is the beauty and glory of Winter in Northern New York. It's a good thing that God made Winter so pretty or we would never put up with it.
A little while later I am reminded of the problems of living here in the Winter. Those problems can often be anticipated, but usually they show up unexpectedly as was the case this morning. The Better Half was running late for work. She went to back out of the driveway and got hung up on some ice. Her wheels were spinning. My neighbor who was outside shovelling off his porch roof came over and the two of us pushed her out of the driveway. She headed down the street. I look at where she was parked. There was an unusually large block of ice that had formed and kept the van from backing up properly. Well, that's not the real problem. A few minutes later she is pulling back into the driveway and telling me something in wrong with her van. It wouldn't drive properly. She had trouble explaining it. So I hop in and take it for a spin down the street. Yes indeed, something was wrong. It turned out that one of the rear wheels was frozen such that it would not turn. It was just being dragged down the street as if the rear brakes were locked up on that one wheel. Now everything begins to make sense. The wheel locked up made it difficult to back out of the driveway. So, I go to the garage, get my floor jack and wrench to remove the problematic wheel. After the lug nut were removed I had to take a sledge hammer to the wheel, give a number of "luv taps" to break the wheel rim off the hub. Then I got out the Bernz-O-Matic torch and began heating the wheel. A few minutes later it was free and spinning like new. Evidently water (melted snow) had gotten inside the hub and froze in such a way that the wheel seized up. I have never experienced this before today.