Sometimes the cold is really just a matter of perspective.
This week's record lows are undoubtedly uncomfortable, but allow East Tennessee to consider - for just a moment - a different definition of "warm."
Months ago, when the thermometer soared to near triple digits, people looking for a break in the heat found it at the Lost Sea Adventure. The temperature inside the Sweetwater cavern rests at 58 degrees Fahrenheit ever day of the year. This week, the summer-time refuge from heat is a warm get-away.
"It actually feels warmer than 58 when you're down here, because the humidity is so hot inside the cavern. [It] feels like the mid-to upper 60s when you're down here," said Brandon Freeman, who gives tours inside the cave.
Freeman says seasonal extremes can draw a crowd. In the winter, Lost Sea offers spelunking tours and overnight stays -- a popular activity for local boy scouts.
The cave isn't the only cool-down-turned-warm-up location.
Ice Chalet keeps their rink temperature between 40 and 50 degrees -- well above this week's outdoor temperature.
"It is warmer in an ice-rink, ironically, than it is outside," said Dan Baird, who works at the rink.
One skater, 11-year-old Natasha Williamson agrees.
"That's crazy. especially in Tennessee!" she said. "It's not really the warmest place, but it's not the coldest place."
Tennessee weather is notorious for its irregularity.
Perhaps a little perspective will make it easier to tolerate.