It’s pretty cold these days.

The temperature gauge on our Subaru couldn’t even give a reading yesterday morning. It only showed a series of dashes like some sort of astonished stutter.

We’re averaging somewhere around 40 below with the wind-chill – although today’s a balmy -30.

It’s the kind-of cold where you have to plug in your car and where lots of drivers just leave their vehicles running. Friday night we went for dinner at Good Times and several idling trucks sat in the rammed parking lot, empty, their owners inside.

We both forgot our wallets, by the way, and the waitress sent us home to get them. You’d be surprised how often it happens, she said, waving us out into the night.

It’s the kind of cold that makes your fingers ache when you take off your mitts and freezes hair and eyelashes into a stiff sort of mesh.

But still, it’s sunny. The sky is an incredible bright blue and partly because we have a puppy (who, thankfully, has husky genetics and seems toughened to the chill) we have to go outside or else deal with an overly-hyper animal. Not to mention our own cabin fever.

So go outside we do – dressed for it, already adapting to it – and suck up the sun and fresh air before we race to the back door when Mowat stars limping because his paw pads are aching and he can’t run for even one more ball toss.

It’s a quiet existence. One of the teachers at J.’s school told him, almost as a warning, that we need to get out, get involved. That it’s essential.

And so we’re trying, but it’s that tricky thing of fitting into a new town and, for me, finding that balance between the naturally isolating work of writing and, um, getting a life. But I’ve got plans: volunteer work (somewhere), an ice-skating class, breakfast at the Hawaiian Diner after dropping J. at work where I’ll work on honing scenes from Swarm, free from the toddler-pup.

Time will pass and, slowly, hopefully, even in this deep freeze, some roots will grow.