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Despite having been born in Maine and making the choice eight years ago to return, I find the kind of January we are having a little jarring. Endless days of gray and the deep cold that looks like it is going to stretch right through the end of the month is something I never fully get used to.

Our weather station (you can find it on the weather underground app) said we hit a low of -9 overnight this week. When it gets like that I shuffle from the woodstove to the spot on the couch directly under the heat pump and wonder if it isn’t the year to put in a hot tub!

I worry on these cold nights about others who may not be able to stay warm, even if they do have a stable home. While this kind of cold is a frustrating inconvenience, for some it is more cruel. I appreciate the efforts of the Waldo County Woodshed, and would love to learn more about direct support programs (as opposed to loan programs that saddle folks with more debt).

If you read about the situation on our road this past week I hope it is at least a reminder to say yes to community nonprofits that ask for support at the town meeting each spring. It is never much money and these services can be life-changing to our neighbors who we may not know need it.

Stay warm and check in on each other this time of year. It can be a hard time physically and mentally.

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