Like Lucy from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I stepped out of our little Dutch farmhouse yesterday into a luminescent, ice-covered world, full of wonder and delight.
It has been more than a decade since Zeeland has seen such temperatures, and people are flocking to the ice en masse. In fact, they throw "ice parties", one of which will be taking place here in the tiny town of Oudelande this afternoon.
A Floridian by nature, instinct tells me to stay inside and read a book when the thermometer hits freezing... but the Dutch can't wait to get outside. Which is how I came to find myself on the town's celebrated ice skating rink Thursday, and gliding across our frozen pond yesterday afternoon.
Both days were special. On Thursday my friend, Ilonka, came equipped with a hot cocoa-filled thermos, and yesterday's visit meant that the kids could come in and play when the negative temperatures penetrated their thick snow suits.
The record cold has been matched with much sunshine, creating a sparkling, fairy-tale like setting. It's as if the farm and its surroundings have been sprinkled with sparkling pixie dust.
Knowing that all fairy tales come to an end, I'm going to get out and enjoy this one while it lasts. In fact, I think I'll write my own.