Tuesday, December 22, 2009
i may have spent my childhood in a snow belt town of pennsylvania, once dubbed "the coldest spot in the nation," i may have lived in buffalo and ann arbor, but i have no memories of being snowed in for days, intermittently without electricity, water and telephone.
since we've lived in charlottesville we've giggled at the dramatic response to a dusting of snow. tashi has complained about the winters, missing the opportunity to sled and throw snowballs and tunnel through mounds of cold white powder. we've listened to countless storm warnings that yield little more than an inch of snow. so when the warnings started pouring in last week, we just shook our heads and said, "believe it when we see it."
the snow did indeed start falling in fat flakes late friday afternoon. by 6pm many roads were impassable, mostly due to cars that had gone into a tailspin. it took tashi and dan two hours to make it home on what is usually a twenty minute drive. once they arrived home safely, we cozied up together for what we knew might be a snowbound weekend.
the next morning we woke up to a winter wonderland and no electricity or water. the cloth diapers were wet from a washing the night before. we hadn't stocked up on drinking water. and we only had two small bundles of wood from the supermarket.
dan immediately waded through two feet of snow and started chopping wood from a dead tree in our yard. i started melting snow by the wood stove and hung the wet diapers close to our only heat source. we pulled out the camp cook stove and boiled greek coffee, as we couldn't grind our usual beans. we ate pbj for lunch.
it was a beautiful day and would have been more relaxing, had we been better prepared. regardless, we savored the big quiet upon sparkling scenery.
we sighed with relief when the electricity came back on around 5pm, just after we'd had an early dinner of leftover quinoa chili warmed on the camp stove. we commenced to busying about with loads of laundry, piles of dirty dishes and collecting water from the tap. the electricity went back out by 9pm, but feeling rather better prepared this time, we relaxed, lit candles, savored the fire and camped out in the living room for the night.
it was wonderous, waking up in the middle of the night to stoke the fire and seeing the brightest of stars gazing down upon the snowy world. we rose in the morning to a roaring wood stove upon which we cooked a delicious breakfast. we took catnaps, leafed through holiday stories. the phone/dsl went out as well. so even when our electricity came back by midday sunday, our communication with the outer world didn't (our cell phones don't work out here). it's always good to have a little vacation from the internet!
and so our weekend went: quiet, full of flame, hands upon books, projects, shovels, saws, sleds and a funny baby boy. time well spent leading into solstice.
monday all services returned, the snow plow arrived, and dan spent four hours shoveling the drive way. i hopped online and finished our christmas shopping, knowing that i wanted to spend as little time as possible in stores and shopping malls. the solstice faeries hid books around the house, and as the darkest night commenced, we lit our floating candles and cast our wishes.
* * * here's hoping your solstice was steeped in all that sparkles * * *