Beau January 13th, 2007
One thing is certain… winter is unpredictable. I’m a four-season type. I love each of the seasons for what they offer… the Redbuds and Dogwoods of early Spring, leaves unfolding more each day and thinking of gardens and vegetables, fishing and camping…. then giving way to warm Summer evenings with barbecues, fireflies and the drone of the Cicada.
Almost without noticing, the evenings begin to cool as Autumn beckons, we spend time outdoors as much as possible knowing the days are growing shorter. Then too, leaves begin turning various shades with brilliant foliage peaking in late October.
Winter comes as the days grow colder, holiday spirit abounds and we finally settle in upon the first real snowfall. Coats, gloves and hats go on as children play and we remember our youth… the blanket of first snow insulates the land and sleeping trees… it almost seems as if nature is taking a breath before the cycle begins anew. It’s all so wondrous to me… but not without a surprise now and then.
Yesterday, the winter storms from the west met with moist tropical air giving way to freezing rain in so much of the country. And what is here at Fox Haven? We have ice! Lots of ice… too much ice! Snow would have been a graceful welcome, but the ice grips the trees and plants, weighing them down in contorted shapes, breaking limbs and making roads dangerous.
The power was off last night for 8 hours (nothing compared to the week-long outage for many people in December), then today, more intermittent outages.
Freezing rain continues tonight and tomorrow, and one feels awful for those whose only warmth is electricity when the lines go down. It is a time to seek shelter and friends or family.
We can deal with the rain and ice, it will not last forever. Yet some of the trees and limbs will not make it, and clean-up throughout the region will take weeks. We are fortunate to have the wood stove… while outside air was in the low 20’s, the wood stove provided heat throughout the night.
Planning ahead means storing water for when the power is out, the well-pump runs off electricity.
What do those of you living in the north do? Alaska? Wisconsin? Maine? I imagine this is part and parcel to the daily routine. Even now, temperatures in the Dakota’s are below zero. We’ll see close to that this week!
The extra stores of firewood provides a sense of security making the earlier Fall challenge of labor worth the effort. Having a generator is an extra step to power essentials if the electricity is out too long. We could put freezer goods outside, and there is little truly essential but water, food and warmth. Yet it is humbling as the candles and flashlights come out, as we realize how much we depend on the technology that makes our homes so functional.
It is still beautiful to see however… perhaps in the same way that the ocean is beautiful, powerful and always unpredictable. We admire the wonder and power of nature that shapes our world in amazing ways. We realize we are but a small part of it all, and we embrace the challenges. We are, in fact, thankful for what we have.