A blogger's avatar is buried up to his eyeballs in snow from the Big Dump of '09'. Only the tiniest of windows remained open to the outside world. An old land line phone that doesn't need electricity to work is plugged in to see if a call can be made to the utility company. It works, but the phone doesn't ring when someone tries to call me.
Pull up a chair and grab a cup of coffee and I'll tell you about the mundane routine of staying alive when you are powerless, cut off from the world and trapped from escape. Water for my morning cup of coffee was stacked neatly on the table out on the deck.
Despite plummeting temperatures inside the igloo, the refrigerator was beginning to warm and the freezer to thaw. There was plenty of cold, just not in the right places. Boxes were excavated in the drifts of snow piled on the deck and the contents of the freezer were placed outside. Let's hope the varmints are snowed in too.
Now I have discovered that the shady west facing deck makes a better freezer than the sunny south facing one.
Rise before dawn and light a fire. The record interior low was 49 degrees on the third day. Boil snow for some coffee. Ah the joys of a gas stove. A full pot of snow amounts to an inch of water in the bottom of a pot.
Trudge to the top of the ridge top garden to collect log sections to be split into firewood. Bring logs down below the deck where there is room out of the snow to work. Tend the fire to keep it burning hot.
Split logs into firewood. Tend the fire to keep it burning hot. The goal for the day is to get the inside temperature back up to 60 degrees at a minimum. Fetch more logs. Split more wood. Tend the fire to keep it burning hot.
By mid-afternoon enough wood was chopped and stacked to make it through the night and into the next frigid morning. There is time for a stroll. Shrubberies are pressed to the ground from the weight of the snow. Only the melt will reveal if there has been damage.
The poor dying Hemlocks get a few last moments of splendor.
Talking story with the younger James while they searched for the invisible cow, he told me that this small cabin had burned down twice. I worry about leaving a hot untended fire. A conventional fireplace has to be the absolute worst way to heat a house. Eighty percent of the heat goes up the chimney and it is constantly spitting out hot embers into the room. If you close the glass door even less heat makes it into the room.
Let me just say if I do not light another fire for the rest of the winter I will be quite content.
All lined up and ready to go.
We can hope for a year to come without Late Blight.
It seems like a good chunk of snow has slid off the roof of the cozy cabin. I watch this knowing any plantings along this side of the cabin will have to anticipate the thud. The final knowing will be to see what if any difference is created by a heated cabin. It could be too that some snow guards that will break up the sheet into smaller pieces will be needed on the roof.
This could qualify as winter interest.
In a heavy snow, stones have to have some substance to create any kind of a lump.
Red columns in the white snow.
It is time to head back to tend the fire. If I want to make 60 degrees before dark I need to keep it burning hot. I lose about ten degrees while I sleep.
Supper is chosen from the deck and cooked on the gas stove while there is still enough light to see. Tend the fire. Keep it burning hot before the boredom of pitch dark sends you to bed.
Rise before dawn to light a fire. Boil snow for your morning coffee. Tend the fire. Fetch logs down to below the deck. Split wood. Tend the fire. Cook some dinner. Tend the fire. Repeat.