Feb 102015
 

The Coldest Day In Texascoldest 300dpismall

February 12th–a time to celebrate the record temperature of 23 degrees below zero. The average minimum temperature in Swisher County is 24° F in January, and the average maximum is 93° in July. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Texas, -23° F, occurred in Tulia on February 12, 1899.
I can’t imagine what the 150 or so families living in Swisher County during that time had to endure. Many times a blue-norther would blow across the plains and shiver me to the bone. I have felt it so cold I didn’t think anything would live and those times I remember were never much below zero.
1956 and 1957 seemed to be the years that coldest temperature I remember. A blizzard raged for three or four days. Dad couldn’t get out of the house or even see the barn for three days. When the storm stopped he had to go through a window to feed the cows. The barn, covered completely with a blanket of snow, had a small hole showing. The cow’s breath had melted that small hole. Our house was over a hundred years old and when the wind blew from the north our cabinet doors blew open. There was actually melted snow in our cabinet. We didn’t have school for several weeks.
I can’t imagine how the cold must have felt in 1899. The dugouts and frame buildings must have been icy. Those who settled our community survived hardships of many kinds. However the coldest day in Texas must have been the most difficult. Without trees to block the wind or burn for heat, it must have been bitter. No microwave to heat your coffee! How did they wash the diapers and keep food on the table? How did they overcome depression and loneliness? The cold was bitter. So why do we celebrate.Laura_Bush_presenting_award3
We celebrate the people that survived it. I personally want to add another celebration. I celebrate those who are surviving the years of economic decline today. Their spirit amazes me. To keep on going, to love the land and one another, to encourage and help neighbors in the toughest times–they are heroes.
When you hold a record…even a cold one…you should celebrate it in a grand way. Host a Coldest Day help your neighbor event. The small towns in Texas are the very best places on this earth–a great place to grow up and raise a family. The people are loving and kind. My hometown holds the record for the coldest temperature and I think the warmest hearts.
Life Lessons: Read The Coldest Day In Texas, a historical fiction based on that lowest temperature in Texas. Share it with your children and grandchildren. Order a copy for your friends. Oh my! This is a shameful advertisement. Yes, I did write it. Yes, you can order it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or on my website: PeggyPurserFreeman.com

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