While it is not my intention to comment on the weather in this journal, one does have to pay respect to the -17 degrees read on the thermometer this week. It wasn't record low for Maine, but it certainly was an all time record low for me. It may not look that cold out under the clear blue sky, but it is. And because of that, I was able to witness the beautiful phenomenon of 'sea smoke' which occurs when the temperature of the air is colder than that of the water. Yesterday the bitter temperatures gave way to snow, and it continued to fall steadily throughout the night with the mercury hovering somewhere in the teens. Although I spent much of the week warm and indoors, the weather did have a pesky way of infiltrating other aspects of daily life. Its impacts on this old house and barn-ice dams and frozen pipes truly test the pioneering spirit of this former urban dweller.