My oldest son sent me an email last Monday telling me that the amateur weather groups he's in were predicting a major snowfall for this area by the weekend. It was odd to read that after spending the day telling stories at a school and enjoying the drive home in 70-degree temps--no coat even!
My son and his friends were right. Where I live, just east of the Ohio River in West Virginia, got between 4 and six inches, but it's hard to measure for certain because the wind is blowing fiercely.
Orville Hartley's old home, root cellar and wood shed.
We had to go to town this morning in the thick of it, because our hot water heater decided to die and we needed to get the stuff to hook up a new one, and we needed to get straw and feed for the pigs we're supposed to pick up tomorrow. (Key word--supposed. In this weather?) The roads were icy and snow-covered, and the 4WD earned its keep one more time. By the time we got home, the snow seemed to have stopped, but it came on again later in the afternoon.
And of course the electricity went out. That didn't bother Larry at all since he was messing with 220v wiring--he was happy the juice was really, truly off. (Even turning off breakers doesn't make me feel comfortable about it, but complete loss of power? Can't argue with that).
I put chili on the wood stove to cook, a kettle of water on to boil to make drip coffee, dug out the candles, filled the oil lamps and trimmed the wicks, got out the battery radio and tuned in to Prairie Home Companion and got ready to settle in for the evening. Larry drove off to check on son #5 and grandson #1 who are batching it in son #3's house while he's in Iraq. They too had snugged in with the gas logs going, lots of quilts and hours of conversation on the couch.
The power came back on after 5 hours. It's still snowing lightly and blowing profusely. I am in high hopes that there will be drifts on the ridge, something we haven't seen in a long time. If they're there, I'll be on the hill with my camera. (I remember about 20 years ago when we had "snow rollers." Does anyone have them this year?)
In town today, people were complaining about the snow. They want winter to be over. But March 20, the last day of winter, is still a couple weeks off, and winter never leaves willingly. I say enjoy each season in its glory, and look forward to the beauty of the next.
In response to a prompt at First 50, I wrote the following:
The trees are budding, the robins are home.
The roads are muddy, the bees building comb.
March winds blow softly, how could we know
that by the day’s end, there would be inches of snow?
Boots and warm mittens, scrapers and shovels
move all the white stuff that causes such trouble.
Some long for the sunshine, and warm balmy breezes
instead they get icicles and buns that are freezing.
The power goes off, no word on the cause,
the wood stove is glowing, the day at a pause.
We gather the candles and trim all the wicks,
chili’s is cooking and day’s fading quick.
But just as we’re ready to bask in the quiet
the lights flicker on, end our power-less diet.
I secretly wish they had waited til daylight
so I could in silence continue to write.