The community that shivers together is old fashioned but fun. Let us celebrate the hardy folks among us. They endured an early blast of bone-chilling cold as the holiday lights blinked on last Wednesday in Platte City, brightening our County Courthouse. Our pioneer predecessors might think us all soft from modern living. They kept warm by felling trees with a crosscut saw, trimming trunks with double-bitted axes and busting chunks with splitting mauls. We walk over to the thermostat on the wall and turn up the heat when a slight chill creeps into the room. Ah, but we’re not all soft. Witness the crowd on the Courthouse lawn on a dark night waiting for the lights to go on. Those of us who wore only a heavy coat, hat and gloves wondered if we were crazy? We should have worn double layers against the wind chill. Some of us didn’t even have children performing. But the fact remains, we were there, out in the night air. “Thank you, thank you very much,” Platte City Mayor Frank Offutt said during his welcoming remarks. “Your applause is muffled, everybody has gloves on.” We all applauded heartily again, anything to keep the blood moving. I looked around. I could not help but notice the men who were hatless. I don’t see how the bald guys stood such a thin layer between the chill and their brain. But then, the fourth- and fifth-grade Paxton Singers sent some Christmas carols ringing across the crowd. There’s something about children singing lovely that distracts a person from the cold for a bit. Awards presentations were made. What were those clicking sounds during, teeth chattering? The middle school youths took their turn singing. Perhaps they did not hit all notes perfectly. But voices that can do any singing in such cold are to be congratulated. We might not even notice any cold above 15 degrees by early March. However, now we’re still officially in autumn. The winter solstice, the official first day of winter, doesn’t arrive until Dec. 21. In fact it warmed up to jacket weather during the daytime this past weekend. Our bodies and minds still have thermostats set on not-too-cold living. A wind chill dropping to single digits catches up by surprise and feels downright unbearable. But, during lighting festivities on Main Street in the county seat folks kept the season’s spirit, anyway. Youngsters kept watch over a cradle in a manger. Hot dogs were grilled. The lights came on and people applauded. Some headed for their cars afterward. But others mingled, window shopped and met the merchants in the open shops. Bonfires in kettles provided a warm-up spot on the square. Traffic was kept out of the square, except for carriage rides and a little train for children. The Pool Hall was packed with revelers. A special note of congratulations is extended to horn players in the Platte City Community Band. Bravely they stood at the corner of Third and Main, wind whipping at the sheet music for Christmas carols. To put one’s lips to a brass or steel mouthpiece on such a frigid night must be like sticking your tongue on the proverbial pump handle when the ponds are all iced over. Whoops, was that a shaky start to “Noel, Noel?” Ah, but they began the song again and played on. Bravo. A few blocks away, though, warmth awaited visitors to a place with echoes of horse-drawn sleigh days. The Ben Ferrel Museum glowed with decorations in every room. The Christmas Princess welcomed children into one parlor. Across the hallway, a flute quartet with four young ladies from the community band played holiday carols. Their music seemed perfect for the night and the season. By the way, the museum is open for tours from 12 noon to 4 p.m. this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. A $5 donation is requested. As the night wore on, you would expect the crowds to dwindle. But the number of people on Main Street held steady. Even a frosty evening seems hopeful when other people are out and about to share glad tidings, and that’s what the holidays are about.