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Readers share ways to enjoy the chill

January 9, 2014
By Tim MacVean - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

ELKINS - What's the best way to deal with several days worth of polar weather? Readers of The Inter-Mountain offered their methods of coping with the extreme cold that invaded the region this week - and some noted they even had fun during the storm.

Many people left their faucets on a slow drip to keep them from freezing, while some snuggled up and enjoyed warm beverages.

Erin Young of Elkins said, "Soup, tea and snuggling up with my awesome husband" was her way of dealing with the cold. Linda Singleton Mullenax of Montrose used similar methods. "I have been snuggled in my down blanket, reading books and drinking hot tea," Mullenax said.

People stayed inside and used various different heating methods to keep warm throughout the freezing temperatures. Mark Phillips of Elkins said, "We just stayed inside!" Mary English of Elkins ran her water and used her wood stove to keep warm. "I kept the water running a very small stream and had the wood stove and pellet stove cranked," English said.

Cindy Souch Richardson, of Irmo, S.C., added that she had to go to two different places before finding insulation for her outside spigot as well as using her fireplace to keep warm. "I have a heat pump and it is not the same as a furnace. I like a furnace better, it seems warmer," Richardson said. "I do have a gas fireplace that's nice if the power goes off."

Sarah Ferguson of Philippi lost water to her home due to the cold conditions but fortunately had family members around that were willing to help. "We actually are without water, but mom and dad have been feeding us and filling jugs of water for us," Ferguson said. "We have heat and electric so we are doing fine."

Others took advantages of services being offered in the area, including warming stations set up for residents. K-9 Cuts, a pet grooming company in Montrose, harbored animals who could not be inside at their homes.

Chrystal Johnston Bennett of Montrose said, "The owners of K-9 Cuts offered free boarding from Monday through Wednesday for anyone who had a dog or cat they they were unable to bring indoors. Everyone who took advantage of this free service was more than grateful their pet had a warm place to stay."

Animal safety, outside of household pets, was also important. Elizabeth Skidmore Pritt of Beverly had to tend to her chickens. "The only semi-exciting thing that happened here was gathering the 'egg-sicles' for the dogs! When they bust open (because I didn't get there quick enough), the dogs get very 'egg-cited' for their treat," said Pritt. "The only other inconvenience was letting the chickens drink out of the Dixie cup I held for them. Otherwise it would spill and freeze."

Many people used the weather as an opportunity for family fun and science experiments. Numerous people said that they tried throwing a pot of boiling water into the frigid air to see if it would freeze, with positive results.

Wendy Russell said, "My kids and I played board games, made brownies and drank hot chocolate. It's a good time to learn and have fun."

Sarah Beth Pennington, an employee at the Cancer Care Center in Elkins, also attempted the boiling water experiment. "Jeanna Davis-Enke, Lisa Arbogast, Linda Zirbs and myself attempted the experiment where we threw the hot water through the air and it turned into steam. It was very interesting," she said. "We had one radiation patient in the lobby at the time we did the experiment and she loved it. It was nice being able to put an extra smile on the patient's face."

Both Brandi Collins Carbaugh of Elkins and Samantha Clarkson attempted the boiling water experiment with their kids. "They loved it so much that they did it a few times," said Carbaugh. "It was kinda like 'Myth Busters.'"

People did what they could to make the best of the frigid temperatures and enjoy the company of their families. Hyre Nestor of Auburn, Ala., said, "We holed up and made forts in the house. We watched several movies and curled up on the couch. We drank lots of hot chocolate."

Rhonda Piper Ward of Shinnston did numerous activities with her family. "We camped out in the living room, went sledding, drank lots of hot chocolate and played many board games and put together a 2,000-piece puzzle," said Ward. "We made the most of a freezing situation and enjoyed each other's company."

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