Thirty below freezing! It was inconceivable till one stepped out into it at midnight, and the first shock of that clear, still air took away the breath as does a plunge into sea-water … But for the jingle of the sleigh-bells the ride might have taken place in a dream, for there was no sound of hoofs upon the snow, the runners sighed a little now and again as they glided over an inequality, and all the sheeted hills round about were as dumb as death.


This is from “In Sight of Monadnock” in From Tideway to Tideway, collected in “Letters to the Family, 1892-1913.  It describes the arrival of the young Kiplings in Brattleboro, Vermont, on their honeymoon in February 1892.

At midnight this week it has been rather warmer, only twenty below.