Reflections from a Snowswept Morning

Dec
20

I woke Saturday morning to snow and darkness. No power. No satellite internet. The world is very still when nothing is running. You forget how still it can be. No low hum from the refrigerator. No television. No central heat to kick on.


There was noise outside. Branches cracking under the weight of snow. Roosters crowing from roosts they refused to leave. Light thumps against the goat house floor and walls as animals rearranged themselves, nestling together to share body heat.

The phone line was still working, so I could use the old-fashioned non-electric phone to call the power company and report our outage. No panic here. This year, we are second-year farmers. We’re smarter than first-year farmers! We have a generator. We have wood piled up and we have a wood stove. We have food laid in for an army, much of it home-preserved over the long, wonderful summer and autumn months of bounty.

Knowing the storm was coming, I simmered a big pot of beans the night before. I took out the pot of beans and set it on top of the wood stove to heat it up. Banking the fire overnight is still in the learning curve phase. There were hot coals in the bed of the wood stove, though. I struggled a little to start a fire in the cold, cold house.

While winter is difficult, it’s also like the final exam. Without it, how would we prove to ourselves that we had, indeed, become self-sufficient? There’s a certain satisfaction in winter’s hardships. We spend our months of plenty preparing for this very moment. The moment we can stick out our tongues at winter and say, HA.

In today’s sophisticated world, self-sufficiency is in many ways not entirely necessary. In most urban and suburban areas, you can expect power to be restored in a reasonable period of time. Even if it’s not restored quickly, you can expect the streets to be plowed so you can go across town to someone else’s house who has power, or even to the public library. You can find a restaurant with power and buy your dinner. In truly dire circumstances, there are even shelters. There’s a collective joint-sufficiency to fall back on. In the most rural of places, there’s no such thing as road plows and you can expect to be last on the priority list for power restoration. And from a remote farm, there is no going anywhere for anything.

For some reason, there are those of us who leave the collective cocoon of public care, determined to test our grit against the challenge of self-sufficiency. Maybe it’s stubbornness. Maybe it’s arrogance. Maybe it’s the desire to meet and defeat challenge. Other people jump out of airplanes. Some climb sheer mountain faces. Still others race cars. It’s all about testing some deep place inside that the comfortable, secure world today won’t make you test otherwise. For the “new” back-to-the-landers, it’s surviving winter on a remote farm. That’s our airplane, mountain, or race car.

Our test.

At least that’s what I told myself as I sat in the still, early morn dark after finding the telephone and the power company’s number by candelight. I was cold, still having trouble getting things going in the wood stove. I poked at the fire, made it finally flame bright.

And I felt like a total hero.

This post was written using generator power and dial-up access. I was not able to upload any photos. (Which is why the Daily Farm Photo hasn’t changed and the thumbnail for this post in the sidebar is recycled from last winter.) We have had about a foot of snow. A tree could crash onto the phone line at any time, which would remove that access. I don’t know for sure when power will be back, so generator time for the computer is limited as we need our generator gas for other uses and perhaps more days without power. Hopefully, our electricity will be restored by the time you read this post. I’ll keep you updated if I can. The snow is GORGEOUS! We’re in winter wonderland!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on December 20, 2009  

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  1. 12-20
    3:05
    am

    We are having flurries here…the roads were wet from last nights misty cold rain…they are salting the roadways now…but I don’t expect to wake later this morning to a large snowfall…this one missed our area of East Tennessee….went north of us…
    Don’t you just love the quiet of a deep snowfall….so peaceful quite like Christmas eve….you can almost hear the flakes fall….
    Lucky you…..curl up in the corner of the couch…put your snuggie on…pet the cat in your lap….enjoy the smell of a pot of beans cooking….watch the flames flicker in the wood stove….and enjoy your down time…you deserve it…

  2. 12-20
    3:09
    am

    I’d heard a lot of snow had come your way. Glad your keeping warm,with the woodstove,and have plenty of comfort foods!

  3. 12-20
    3:33
    am

    In many ways I envy you this fight against nature. This was how my life used to be several years ago, and yes, I do miss it a lot. Now living in suburbia is just not the same. I miss the foot of snow, the quiet of the woods and forests, the smell of the wood stove, as well as the smell of the beans cooking on it. The stillness and quiet (as you say) of all around you. Snuggle down, and enjoy it all while it lasts.

  4. 12-20
    4:04
    am

    And you still had a post out on time! You are better than the post office. Nothing stops you!

  5. 12-20
    5:25
    am

    And I’m here from the Great White North, getting NO snow!

    Yes, I guess it is exam time. I always hated exams! :lol: But you’ve learned a lot and you’re surviving!! Just stay warm!

    And it’s ok the daily farm photo hasn’t changed, that aluminum foil is just beautiful! :lol:

  6. 12-20
    5:48
    am

    Greetings from up the road a ways. Beautifully said, as always, Suzanne. There’s a deep kind of satisfaction in knowing we can survive what life and the weather throws at us. Our true needs are pretty basic – food and water, shelter, heat. Like you, I spent the summer canning, freezing, stockpiling for the coming winter. Firewood is stacked by the woodburner, along with the lanterns and the generator if the power goes out. Early yesterday morning I cleaned off 15 inches of snow from my big Dodge pickup so I could go across the hill to check on my mother. I hadn’t had the chance to drive it in this much snow so I was tickled when it rolled right out of my long, uphill driveway. My brother gave me a window decal that says “Silly boys, Trucks are for girls”. Nothing like driving a big Hemi engine to make a woman feel powerful. Unless it’s knowing how to survive and that you’ve done it yourself. So here’s to us survivors. Stay warm and safe!

  7. 12-20
    6:07
    am

    Suzanne you definitely get an “A” on this test!

    Can’t wait to see pictures of your winter wonderland. Here where we are in Ohio, we got about an inch or so and most of it melted. It was pretty while it lasted and I am hoping for more!

  8. 12-20
    6:09
    am

    Thats what I love about this Lady………..Guts and Determination.

    Come Rain,come shine
    When the weathers fine
    Come Snow ,come Hail
    We get our Mail
    Stay safe and enjoy your Winter Wonderland

  9. 12-20
    6:12
    am

    Way to go girl! You can do it all! Survive in the winter wilderness and put up a blog post on time! Isn’t that wood stove great! I love mine!

    We have about a foot of snow now and -10 to -17 celsius temps at night. The heat lamp is on in the chicken house. It goes on at -10c.

    Our power goes out overnight throughout the year occasionally. We have a basement full of squash and chickens. We will always have eggs and squash to eat. We have a wood stove, candles and an accessible well. We will be ok.

    We also live within walking distance of town. Don`t depend on the townspeople. They can`t survive without electricity. They will be coming to see you when the power is out for long. We lived in the city without power for three days once and everyone panicked. No one cans or hoards food in the city. Few have wood stoves in suburbia and those who do don’t have much wood or access to get more without transportation. There is no gasoline without electricity. It was summer so heat wasn’t a problem. BBQs were used to cook food and make coffee. If it had been winter there would have been a bigger panic. Most new, city fireplaces are natural gas these days. There’s no natural gas without electricity, either.

    Even a generator runs out of power without gasoline and its not renewable without electricity. Society is so totally dependent on that electric grid! We would be unhappy without it, but we have the tools to survive out here.

    The country is the place to be!! We love it! The Montreal area was in an ice storm and without power all winter long, several years ago. I have got to get that canner up and running!

  10. 12-20
    6:24
    am

    Nothing profound to say here. Just very glad you are having a better winter this year. My southern style tootsies are freezing up here in the wilds of Pa. I don’t know how anyone north of Ga survives this stuff. Yes, it is pretty but I miss the warm tropical(ish) climate of Florida :sun: As my Grandson would say, “You Da Man!” Keep safe and warm.

  11. 12-20
    6:43
    am

    I wish we could be there to gather around your woodstove and sip a cup of hot coffee or apple cider with you. Enjoy it, and be careful getting out to take pictures for us.

  12. 12-20
    7:24
    am

    As long as everyone on two or four legs is snuggly, all is well with the world. Just as summer’s extreme heats remind us to slow down, a blizzard day is a reminder to appreciate life as it is.

    Enjoy!

  13. 12-20
    7:26
    am

    We’re in southern Ohio and had 3 to 4 inches of snow. It was beautiful and I wouldn’t exchange any of the country ‘uncomfortables’ for a day in the city. No problems with power or any of that this time. Hope all is going well for you now. I love reading your blog.

    Sharon

  14. 12-20
    7:34
    am

    You are passing your test with flying colors. The hardships of no power just make you stronger to answer challenges that are thrown your way.

    Hope you get power soon – so we can see pictures of your winter wonderland. Keep that fire stoked.

  15. 12-20
    7:34
    am

    Here in West Central PA we’ve got about 8 inches of the white stuff. It’s beautiful but it made getting my son to his wrestling tournament a real challenge. Almost didn’t get out of the driveway! :no:

    Glad to know you’re OK after I heard on the news that WV had declared a state of emergency. Immediately thought of you and the kids. Stay safe and warm!

    I have to say, Suzanne, even with the temporary inconveniences you’re now dealing with, you are living my dream. And I so want a wood stove!!

  16. 12-20
    7:39
    am

    I was just telling my husband last night that I would love to have a big snowstorm or ice storm. We are prepared. Even though we live in town (darn it!), we are always prepared. Half a beef in the freezer, all sorts of home canned foods and a wood stove to boot. I’m shaking my fist and saying “is this all you got?” It’s a chilly 29 degrees here right now. And I want it cold cold COLD! Others will be crying over their high utilities bill, but we won’t…..some day hopefully, I will move out into the country and take my wood stove and canning supplies with me. Isn’t it great to be self-sufficient?
    Stay warm and safe! (I know you will)

  17. 12-20
    7:51
    am

    Last I checked, we had 10″ (we got a few hours more snow afterwards) of the fluffy stuff…only it wasn’t fluffy, it was wet and heavy. We were without power from about 1 pm to 7 pm yesterday.

    From what I’m reading, your part of the state was hit harder with power losses and you could be without power “for a few hours or up until Christmas Eve.”

    I hope it’s the former! Stay warm and stay safe!

  18. 12-20
    8:00
    am

    Its winter wonderland at my house in PA. I live in a rural area and I just saw the snow plow for the second time in 2 days. We have a joke that when the weather man says there is going to be a snow storm every one will run out to get toliet paper, milk, eggs and bread. lol. We were pretty much prepared for a storm. Lots to eat and do. Got a little propane heater just in case the power does go out. We do not live too far out from a few towns so if we had to we could get out.

  19. 12-20
    8:01
    am

    It sounds like you have things under control. Snuggle down and be safe.

  20. 12-20
    8:17
    am

    I think you are well prepared! So glad you have a generator. It is beautiful outside! We still have out electric. I’m just below you in Jackson County and I got to post some beautiful pictures yesterday. I hear we might get some more snow at the end of the week.

  21. 12-20
    8:21
    am

    Sometimes i think it is amazing how spoiled we have all become and wonder what a true emergency would do to us. Though I live in Arizona where you can live without utilities if you had to I always keep enough food and water for at least a month…and for those that need their medicine they should have 3 month supply of that. Keep warm and enjoy the quiet…Merry Christmas

  22. 12-20
    8:22
    am

    Sounds to me like you’ve triumphed over winter’s shinanigans :) Good for you! It is rather beautiful, the quiet stillness after a snow storm, isn’t it? Good luck getting the animals fed. Give them pats and kisses for me :sheepjump:
    I hope your power is restored very soon….because being without power gets old fast ;)
    Looks like most of the storm will bypass us here in upstate NY. We’re expected a bit of snow this afternoon. It’s been very cold here this week and we have a few inches of snow on the ground.

  23. 12-20
    8:26
    am

    Suzanne…it’s 36 in Dallas this morning with no snow or even the hint of a flurry to come. Dang it.
    And you ARE a ‘total hero’. Your drive and efforts have prepared you for this moment…to be safe, warm and self-sufficient against the threats of winter. You have been tested now and you have passed the test.
    Throughout this journey of self-sufficiency, you have reached a depth of insight that is remarkable. Today’s post shows that. No pictures that show the farm, the animals or the kids…just pure and simple thought from your mind and it was powerful. To me, the best post you have ever done.
    But please, when power comes back and normalcy reigns once again, give us more pictures, more stores and more happinesses to share with you. We do all love you dearly!

  24. 12-20
    8:32
    am

    When Mother Nature raises her stormy fist, it’s a wonderful feeling to be safe and warm, without a worry about food or water. Having book-ended my life with living remote and rural, with the middle of my life plunked in the big city, I can relate to your perspective today. I’ve been through it many times. You learn to appreciate what you have and what you don’t have and might not really need. True sustainable living is more about a frame of mind. Suzanne, you have arrived!

  25. 12-20
    8:38
    am

    It sounds absolutely gorgeous! I’d love to see it when power is back and you can post pictures. In the meantime you’ve done an excellent job painting a mental image for us all join you in our mind’s eye. Except this southern girl can’t handle the cold. In my mind’s eye your home is toasty warm from the wood stove.

    Apparently I’m not ready for the self-sufficiency test yet.

    Hugs!
    Susan at Charm of the Carolines

  26. 12-20
    8:59
    am

    I hope you continue to sit by the fire and warm our spirits with your beautiful writing! You paint a vision that was only yours until you shared it with all of us. Thank you! I hope your power is restored quickly – but I am thinking I might have to turn off the t.v. and listen to the sounds outside.
    Laurie

  27. 12-20
    9:03
    am

    :woof: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: Susanne, nature has taught you well. It is the only teacher that we have when it come to survival without man made comforts. Reading it in a book and expeiencing first hand are two totally different things, you should be proud of yourself, and also the fact that your children are learning lessons they can use for life.
    In 1994 we has a blizzard with heavy ice that took away power for 8 days, it started on Christmas eve. We do have a generator but had never used it at that point. It was way below zero and very dark, trying to start it was a major chore, but we finally got it going and ran an extention cord through a window for a lamp. The house cooled down, I dont know when it has been so cold. We have a very dear friend that came to our rescue,–then the generator froze up. My Hubby and our fiend worked out in the cold and finally got things going again–at that point I said “As God is my witness, I will never be this cold again!”.
    We like your self, are prepared this time, additional wiring to the furnace for heating and electric for ligting and cooking.
    Mother Nature can be cruel–think the case of how bad it could get, and prepare yourself, even if you dont need it, it is worth it.
    I did check the pantry this morning, and we have 3 large rolls of tin foil, and plenty of canned good.
    Enjoy the comforts that you have prepared for the “just in
    case”.
    I hope your power returns quickly, but in the mean time enjoy what you can of the peace and quiet and the beauty of nature.

    JO :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman:

  28. 12-20
    9:06
    am

    I was thinking of you yesterday while it snowed two feet here in VA. Sorry about the power, but you sure did show Mr. Winter!! :) You should be very proud.

    Hope you stay safe and warm – and the animals too. Beans sound yummy.

  29. 12-20
    9:09
    am

    Could you send some of that snow south please? All we are getting is frosty mornings! We don’t get snow very often (once every 5 years or so) but we do get ice storms usually once every two or three years. Give me the snow over ice any year!!
    Stay safe and warm and keep those fluffy chicken butts warm!

  30. 12-20
    9:45
    am

    What a nice thoughtful post! It is an awesome feeling to take care of oneself in the manner which you describe. We too have generator, preserved food, wood for the fire and I totally understand the aura surrounding it all.

    That feeling of satisfaction when we accomplish sufficiency is wonderful…and pretty much akin to “stepping outside our comfort zone”. …and that rush from endorphins is not bad either!

  31. 12-20
    9:47
    am

    Frost in Florida, but by noon it will be 50 degrees or so. However I lived for years in Northern Minnesota. Our great storm was 31 inches on Halloween and 30 inches the next day. One of the reasons I now live in Florida. Keep warm and ration that foil.

  32. 12-20
    9:49
    am

    You certainly sound like you have it all under control – :)

    Hopefully your power is back on soon.

    But, it does sound wonderful! Can’t wait to see pictures.

  33. 12-20
    9:52
    am

    whew girl, you write for my soul. I feel the same way but certainly don’t have the skills to write so eloquently.

  34. 12-20
    9:55
    am

    Hey Suzanne!

    Our electric went out at 4:20 am Friday night. It’s still out. When I called the power company last night the pre recorded message said that they expect to have all power restored by Friday, December 25th! :hissyfit:

    Our generator kicked on and we are having fun just enjoying all of the snow that we received. We got around 12 inches of that white stuff! :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman: :snowman:

    Stay warm! :sun: I hope you have enough gas stored up to run your generator when you need it!

    :grinch: Merry Christmas! :grinch:
    Angela :wave:

  35. 12-20
    10:01
    am

    So beautifully written as usual Suzanne. I hope you have the fire burning brightly. Stay warm and enjoy the beauty of the season. :hug:

  36. 12-20
    10:21
    am

    Your post is amazing, I can see the pictures in my mind. I am sot sure if the winner of the Sam-E contest could do what you did. You are strong and smart and as soon as I can get to the library I am checking out a bunch of your books. I feel we get a chapter a day here, non-fiction. Enjoy those yummy beans and cornbread. :eating:

  37. 12-20
    10:32
    am

    Way to go on getting that fire up and roaring away! Can you believe all the skills you’ve picked up over the past couple of years? Goat milking, cheese-making, canning and now fire starter! Pretty awesome.

  38. 12-20
    10:36
    am

    Hope you have your power back soon!

    It is 38 degrees here in Panama City Florida. We don’t get snow, perhaps a dusting once every 10 years…LOL

    I can only imagine the beauty of all that snow. But oh my!!! How cold all that snow muct be!

    Deb

  39. 12-20
    10:37
    am

    Go you!
    As number 4 said, you ARE better than the post office!
    Thanks for being there! In that deep snow, with your generator, writing for US.
    You’re totally my hero, Suzanne!

  40. 12-20
    10:41
    am

    I bet those beans are smelling wonderful by now!

  41. 12-20
    11:02
    am

    Will wait for photos of the big snow! Take care!

  42. 12-20
    11:26
    am

    Thought about you yssterday while watching the weather news about your area and prayed you were all safe and snug. Afraid you wouldn’t be able to post today but as always you have overcome and brightened the day. It is cold and sunny here in Colorado this morning with just scant snow predicted for later in the week. Wish we had some of your snow. Thanks again for your cheerful outlook on all the hardships. We appreciate all you do for your readers. Have a blessed Sunday.
    Euni

  43. 12-20
    11:28
    am

    Yes it is very cold here in the Dallas area for sure – frost on the ground. I do hope your animals are warm enough – i worry about them in this weather.

  44. 12-20
    11:33
    am

    Another beautiful and thought-provoking post! With your descriptions of the sounds from outside, I can picture the goats and chickens without photos. This will be a winter for you to be proud!!

  45. 12-20
    11:37
    am

    Like post #1 said, I am also in East Tennessee in the Tri Cities, and the towns here all got different amounts. We got 3 inches, one of the “cities” got 6 and another got 9 inches, while 60 miles away Knoxville didn’t get any It’s been a LONG time since we’ve gotten this much snow. It happened all the time when I was a kid, but my kids didn’t even know it could snow this much here LOL.
    I admit I am one of the one that relies on community sufficiency. In fact we live just a block away from town where it starts to look like a rural area. Never lost power, though many people we know did for a few hours. Of course they live where it’s actually rural.
    Our roads are clear and since hubby gets off work early today, we’re all going Christmas shopping as a family and then go look at Christmas lights. Even if it melts by Thursday or Friday, it feels like a White Christmas!
    Enjoy the peace!

  46. 12-20
    11:38
    am

    Who needs Sam-E when we have Suzanne!

  47. 12-20
    12:11
    pm

    I hope it is restored soon for you. You have such a positive outlook on it all.. A woodstove is a grand thing to have..stay warm and safe with it !!!!

  48. 12-20
    12:21
    pm

    We got just a dusting of snow this time. Usually, our area gets the snowfall and seeing as we live atop a mountain, we get more than those in the valleys. But, I know what it’s like to live without power for periods of time. Our former home lost power it seemed every time it rained, snowed, or got windy. We learned to store water for cooking and toilet use. I had a gas range then so I could still cook. The wood stove kept us warm till the power came back on. So, I know a bit what it’s like to wake to extreme cold, darkness, and wander about with candles. Brings back memories. Hope your power is back on soon!

  49. 12-20
    12:21
    pm

    you are always well prepared!
    you have it under control!!

  50. 12-20
    12:22
    pm

    My MIL said you’d be prepared, as we wondered about the snow! Glad to see she was right…you passed the final exam! C

  51. 12-20
    2:56
    pm

    Looks like about half of the county is still w/o power…….
    http://app.alleghenyenergy.com/outagestatus/OMS_Customer_County.aspx?Option=County&User

    http://www.aepcustomer.com/outagemap/main.aspx?region=apco

  52. 12-20
    5:15
    pm

    Can we have some snow? 8) Down here in Oklahoma, getting snow for Christmas happens only once in a blue moon. And guess what? This year, December will have a blue moon! So I’m crossing my fingers. 8)

  53. 12-20
    5:25
    pm

    I must say that you sure know how to make a person feel good about themselves. I could feel my head swell a little and my chest puff out knowing I’m one of those on a remote farm who packs away the fruits and veggies like squirrels gathering nuts! We store gasoline, check the well pump, and make sure the backup propane tank is full just for things like the 16 days without power last year due to an ice storm. We had plenty to eat, we were warm, and had the generator humming in the back yard. When the county water went out, we threw a switch and turned a valve and had well water flowing in a matter of minutes. The phones were a no go, ground lines and cell towers were all out but life was good and after reading your post I too feel like a hero! Thank you Suzannne! Bring it on Old Man Winter!!

  54. 12-20
    6:31
    pm

    In my part of NC, the Triad area, we got about 6-10 inches of snow beginning Friday afternoon. So beautiful and exciting because we don’t often get much here. Power still on but even if it goes off I’m warm from the woodstove and have kerosene lanterns for lights. I just keep something to eat and drink on the stove..hot food and drinks are great in the semi-darkness. One hint about the woodstove, no grate because you can’t get the good bed of hot coals needed to bank for the night. Just spread the hot coals out and load the stove with wood, making sure to start from bottom and then pyramid to top and then SHUT DOWN the intake dampers to just let a LITTLE air in. The wood will smolder overnight and when you get up all you have to do is open the air intakes completely for a bit and you will soon have a hot fire going. Try it, you’ll like it!! :snowman: :snowman: :snowman:

  55. 12-20
    6:32
    pm

    STAY WARM IS ALL I CAN SAY…I GREW UP LIKE THAT AND I’M SO THANKFUL FOR THE MORE MODERN WAYS. WE DIDN’T HAVE GENERATORS THEN SO IT WAS BACK TO PIONEER WAYS. I HOPE CHRISTMAS WILL BE A VWERY WARM AND WONDERFUL ONE FOR YOU! Come say hi ;D

  56. 12-20
    6:38
    pm

    In southern West Virginia we got about 16 inches of snow. Way more than normal! We didn’t have any power problems though. The cows do need more work when we have this much snow. They are much more dependent on the round bales of hay, which are harder to roll out for them in the snow. The cat can’t get to the house for his supplemental snack – so I brought him some food up at the barn. I figure even if he doesn’t eat it all something will and then the cat can solve his own food problem. 8)

  57. 12-20
    8:07
    pm

    Another wonderful post. You should be so proud of yourself, I know I am proud of you. You knew what you could be up against this winter, and you were ready for it. You truly are an inspiration. As you haven’t come back on and left a message, I assume you are still out of power. I can imagine you guys sitting around keeping snuggled up by your stove, the room lit by your homemade candles, knowing you have plenty of food for your family. God bless you.

  58. 12-20
    8:08
    pm

    I hear southern Wisconsin may get another major snow over Christmas, hope not.

  59. 12-20
    8:28
    pm

    :hissyfit: Poor thing! Stay warm!! We got about 20″ here in Md. and had a blast sled-riding!! More tomorrow. Hope your power is back on SOON!! :bugeyed:

  60. 12-20
    10:12
    pm

    Sounds like you have everything under control! Wish we had the snow. Only 2 inches here in southern Indiana.. :hissyfit: Have fun and be safe. :hug:

  61. 12-21
    12:50
    am

    Most of the snow went north or south of us – we got 4 or 5 inches – not too bad considering and still have electricity lol. Once the holidays are over I don’t care how much it snows.

  62. 12-21
    9:57
    am

    I just stumbled upon this site while looking for a creamed corn recipe. After having perused it (the site, not the recipe) for a few minutes, I have to say it made me happy! I’m going to share it with my husband, who’s from the mountains of Kentucky, very near the West Virginia border. Hope you guys are safe and making lots of “snow cream.” (Let me know if you need a recipe for that!)

  63. 12-21
    11:21
    am

    Glorious post! :snoopy: Right up my alley, of course, but it’s so nice to hear someone else’s views on exactly this sort of stuff. The quiet of the country, the silence, is something that I still notice frequently, especially outside at night when no cars are near.

  64. 12-21
    11:45
    am

    Isn’t it wonderful? We had an ice storm that left us without power for a week last year. We thoroughly enjoyed it!

  65. 12-21
    1:23
    pm

    I am still looking forward to our first snow this season (Oklahoma)we just moved back from southern CA this summer and I have missed the winters. I was visiting my sister here in Dec 2007 when there was the ice storm that was declared an emergency disaster. Our renters were without electric for 6 loooong weeks! Can you imagine that? There divorce was final in February 2007….stay warm my friend. Leslie

  66. 12-21
    3:27
    pm

    Silence (because of power outage) is deafening. :help:

  67. 12-21
    3:53
    pm

    I’ve often thought about the same thing in our 35+ years of homesteading. Why do some choose this route? For me, it’s about security. I know I can provide my basic needs–food, water, shelter–in the country because I do the work myself. I do not have to depend on the electric company or the grocery store. The independence this gives me to live life on my terms is valuable.

    The other reason–the indescribable beauty of each and every day in the country. I have to leave to go to work, and I am always eager to return, to see what new thing has happened, what new beauty springs before my eyes on each return. How many days have I been late to work because I have to take pictures on the way?

    I hope your power is back on soon. About 40 miles from you, ours was back on Saturday night, a minor miracle because we are at the end of the line that comes from Spencer and so usually the last to be repaired. I hope your wait was short.

  68. 12-21
    9:52
    pm

    Hang in there!
    We live in a remote area, but not as remote as yours….we get a LOT of snow too. Let the warmth of your wood fire and the deliciousness of your canned goods sustain you…this too, shall pass!

  69. 12-22
    12:11
    pm

    Here in central California, my friends at the Police Department ooh and aah at my “rural” life style of milk goats, patrol llamas, chickens, huge garden, dogs, and horses. But, I have a paved driveway, propane tank for heat, and my nearest neighbors are only a pasture away. It doesn’t snow here. The country life here is a faded copy of yours…but, hey, I am learning!

  70. 1-19
    8:22
    pm

    Very well written! Amazing how you managed to make a power outage sound pleasant…I get them fairly frequently here in the woods. I do enjoy the silence, and the reminder that proper planning can keep you prepared and even content-no matter what!

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....






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