And Boy Did It Snow!

Picture 339Picture 340We knew snow was coming. This time of year, it can arrive anytime, but usually it’s a dusting, or at most a few inches, all gone by the following day. Not this time. It was a whopper, and we here in Waldo County seem to be at the eye of the storm. We measured 15 inches out on the potting bench. It fell and fell fast, a wet, heavy, and slippery snow. We are pretty well equipped to deal with snowfall and power outages here at the farm. We heat with wood ( three woodstoves total) and the old wood cookstove is fired up for baking. Our biggest needs are water and keeping the freezers from thawing. We keep a stored supply of water….for flushing toilets, watering animals, and general household use. A good storm reminds us of what a precious commodity water is. With a limited amount on hand, every drop is considered, and not a bit wasted. ( this should really be our general frame of mind, don’t you think?). We also have a 5000 watt generator we run periodically to keep the freezers and the refridgerator cold. This is one of our bigger concerns. With 4 full freezers of farm raised meats and vegetables, the loss would be huge. We don’t run the generator for anything but the freezers and to pump water, and we don’t run them the entire time. Just long enough to keep things cold. We want to conserve the gas we have so it will last for several days, if need be. We can get by on candles and our Aladin lamps for light. When we get a storm like this, it’s all hands on deck.Picture 329Picture 333 Everyone is out shoveling paths to the barn, the chicken coop, and the woodsheds.The animals are all tended to, water is hauled, extra bedding put down. Then we start clearing the long driveway, a path to the hoop house ( spinach and greens still going strong in there!) and the greenhouse, and onto all the small buildings that store tools and equipment. We shovel, then go in to warm up and dry soggy gloves or mittens. Always, during storms and power outages, a big pot of soup goes on the stove, and the tea kettle is always full and ready. Then back out, more shoveling and clearing, until it’s time to do evening chores. Best to do these before it’s too dark to see. Everyone in the house owns a headlamp and they’re either worn constantly or left hanging around your neck, ready when needed. You’ll be using it after supper during the card game, no chance of winning if you can’t see the hand you’re dealt. The old rotary phone gets plugged in to replace the cordless. Calls are made to neighbors checking on their status……Enough water? Plenty of candles? Did your power come back on yet? Having experienced many long winters and storms here in our town, we get to know who typically gets their power back first. Those closest to rt. 3 first, up along rt. 220 next, could be days up on Hogback or over on Goosepecker Ridge, we’re restored somewhere in the middle of this order. And, by Tuesday morning, sure enough, the lights came back on. It’s Wednesday now and there are still some folks without power. All of this is a part of living in the northeast. Snow, storms, icy roads, loss of power, all part of what’s to be expected. Having a few things ready……makes all the difference. Picture 321 Picture 328