Friday, January 30, 2009

Snowed In

On Tuesday morning, January 27, 2009, I was in Titusville, Florida enjoying this sunrise.

By 2:25 pm that same day I was landing in Akron, Ohio, which looked like this from the air.

We picked up the kids in town, drove back out to the farm and hunkered down, the dire weather warnings ringing in our ears. The power went of about 6 am Wednesday morning, as we knew it would. We awoke to an icy winter landscape.

There would be no school Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. This will mean the kids will be in classes until Labor Day weekend next fall. Oh well.

No electricity meant no computer, no TV, no radio, no house-wide heat, no coffeemaker, no lights in the closet, and no refrigeration. By Thursday morning we were cleaning the fridge out and putting all the food in coolers on the front porch. Spring cleaning a few months early.

Our outdoor food pantry.

I went out in the morning and ran my van long enough to charge up my laptop so I could get a bit of writing done. It felt weird not to be able to access e-mail. Then a calm settled over me. I was not going to fight it. If the cosmos did not want us to be connected to the world, we'd obey and find other ways to pass the time.

After two days without electricity, the kids gave up kvetching, too. They settled down with some new books from Christmas and seemed content. I joked with them about playing games on the Amish Wii: Actually going outside to play in the snow. We voted to go sledding. So we bundled up and headed over to our neighbor's cow pasture and sledding down the bowl-like hillside. It was awesome. But we had to be careful to steer clear of the frozen cowpie moguls which really hurt the old rumpus when you hit them.

Ice-crusted pines made our driveway impassable to anything but foot traffic.

Phoebe prepares to take the first run down the bowl.

Liam and I took the final run of the day, just before dark and I videotaped it. It's scary.


I spent an hour or so cutting pine branches off the slumping trees along the drive. I made enough of a hole though the coniferous blockade to get the 4wd Explorer out this morning. The kids insisted on coming into town with me. Once we got to BWD the ran inside and danced around Helen's desk lamp in the office foyer.

The power is still off at home. But at least we know that we can get to civilization if we need to. We may not have power restored until next week. I am unsure if I'll be disappointed to miss the Super Bowl. It might be kinda cool in a throw-back way.

Have a good, warm weekend.

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At 1:28 PM, Blogger Patrick Belardo said...

Amish Wii!!! That's hilarious.

At 1:38 PM, Blogger Bill of the Birds said...

Sorry for the lapse in posts. There is no Amish Blogger setting on our butter churn.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

Looks like you guys made the best of it. Loved the Amish Wii. We need more of those around. Hope the power is restored soon. Stay warm.

At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Jayrod Fron Denton Texas said...

I know it sucked but I'll bet it was good for the soul. I need to unplug myself.

At 5:01 PM, Blogger Tricia said...

Hi Bill, same story here in Adams County. The no coffeemaker thing can be very mood altering.

At 6:15 PM, Blogger Julie Zickefoose said...

The power just came back on 6 pm Friday, having been off since 6 AM Tuesday. Whewwwww. Love this video!
I'm playing Throw Out the Contents of the Freezers on the Amish Wii. It is a gas.

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Vickie said...

Glad to know you guys are are laughing and making the best of it.
Loved the video.

At 10:43 PM, Anonymous [email protected] said...

Now that is what I call fun (the video) but glad your power is back on! What is life without power now days . . everyone stops working and we all are bored! Good thing cameras were all charged up!

At 5:48 AM, Blogger Jayne said...

I almost snorted my coffee through my nose when I read Amish Wii!!!!! I've never seen people who can make lemonade out of lemons like your sweet household can. :c)

At 6:30 AM, Blogger KatDoc said...

Now, that's the way to enjoy a power outage - read, do jigsaw puzzles, play, talk to one another, and disconnect from the big, bad world. No heat sucks, but everything else one can live without, and should for a while. Makes you appreciate electricity so much more when it finally comes back on.

Loved the sledding video - oh, for the enthusiasm of young boys! (And the not-so-young as well!)

Bet the TVs (birds, not video monitors) will enjoy the freezer left-overs.

~Kathi, only housebound for 2 days

At 2:50 PM, Blogger OpposableChums said...

A Manhattanite now, it's been over 30 years since the last time a snow storm knocked out the power and access at our little Connecticut farm. Your pix bring it all back, warmly.

Perhaps we should all spend one week every winter unplugged and snowbound with family.

At 9:04 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Per Julie's comment, glad to hear your power's back! We've been out of juice since Wednesday @ 11am, and we may not be back up until tomorrow or Monday. Luckily we have a wood stove for heat, and we're using a generator for backup power now, but the real deal would be sweet. We finished a jigsaw puzzle and took some fine snowy walks before we finally made our way down our driveway and back out into the real world a few days ago.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Rondeau Ric said...

Interesting how fragile our civilization is with out electricity.

Thanks for the vicarious sled ride.
Yes, we have no hills.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Mary said...

I had so much fun! I had almost forgotten what it feels like to gather break-neck speed on a wild sled. Very cool.... Thanks, Bill!

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Mary McAndrew said...

I loved the video, thanks so much for taking it! I grew up "sleigh riding" as we called it in Endicott, NY along the Pennsylvania border, lots of hills about to go down! I wouldn't go down now with my back, maybe I should be glad it's flat around Buffalo where I live.


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