Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In snowy silence




We finally got power back after a foot of heavy wet snow that took down trees and power lines.  As dusk came over the land on Saturday night the world looked like a silver gray haze and as night fell it darkened to a charcoal mist, heavy with snow and sleet.  We laid in bed listening to trees snap loudly and we held on as the top of one tree cracked and slid down across our bedroom window and along the side of our house.  Beyond the snapping tree limbs the heavy dark and cold silence was deafening.  It was, in moments that night , the Apocalypse.

And so we started each day by lighting the wood stove and the charcoal grill.  We boiled water for coffee and washing. The neighborhood men gathered to haul water for "flushing" - which was much more difficult than two months ago in August after hurricane Irene. We also gathered one night and played music and sang by the warmth of our wood stove and the glow of candles and oil lamps. One neighbor brought us hand warmer bags - you snap these 'tea-bag' looking sacks and they get warm. Such a nice gesture of good neighbor-good will!   :-)  One neighbor brought some vodka!!!  Good neighbor-good will!  And so the evening ended, folks found their way home through the heavy, cold and silent darkness - candles were snuffed and fires stoked to make it through until morning.

And then it began all over again,  - light the grill, get the wood stove going, check food and water supplies - cook breakfast - and then came the much needed shower.  We could shower on the back deck in August - but certainly not now.  We heated a big pot of water and filled the watering can and brought it up to the bathroom upstairs.  We gave one another a make shift showers.  It was freezing even though the water was warm the air was SO cold.  We survived!

And so we made it - we did it - together.  I did wake up one morning and just sobbed.  I did NOT want to face the day.  I snapped out of it, actually laughed at myself , literally pulled on my warm socks and boots and got to the business at hand.  The MS, although a reality did not hinder me all that much.  I did my fair share and felt so good that I could.  We even made a beef stew which we started outside on the grill and then simmered for a few hours atop the wood stove.  It was delicious.  Of course, the hearty bottle of red wine we drank with it enhanced the stew and the whole evening.  After, we spent a couple hours looking at old pictures of when our kids (and us) were younger.  It was wonderful.  We would stop, and pause, and touch a photo trying to capture a time long since gone.  Memories.

And so the 'Nor'Easter of October 2011 is 'one for the books'.
Many are still without power and there are downed trees and wires all around town.  Meanwhile, we will count our blessings and appreciate every convenience we have.


17 comments:

Teacher's Pet said...

Read about the storm and the devasating effects of it. I'm glad that you have a wood heater...and wood....and great neighbors.
I pray that you won't have to endure that weather situation again. I cannot imagine what you went through, Gail. I wouldn't make a very good Danielle Boonesse....even though I think that I take too much for granted.
Hugs,
Jackie

Gail said...

HI JACKIE - oh I think you would do just fine as "Danielle Boonesse" :-). We don't realize what we are capable of until we are faced with whatever!! SO good to see you.
Love Gail
peace.....

Madeleines Photos and Blog said...

Love your snowy pics, Beautiful!
Glad you're making it through.

Birdie said...

Gail, actually this post reads like kind of a fairy tale (you know people pay fortunes for the wood stove, cottage, snow and candle experiences nowadays ;-) I'm glad the tree didn't fall at the house but next to it! Memories, looking at the pictures sounds just perfect for this kind of weather! Much love to you and yours!!

Birdie said...

oh and I forgot to add how beautiful the pictures are!!! :-)

Just Be Real said...

So once again you guys roughed it. Loved the pictures. Yeah, I know about those frozen limbs when there is ice involved. So glad you all weathered it. Vodka huh? :)

Blessings.

Wanda..... said...

The storm was an ordeal for many, but seems you made the most of the situation, Gail. The togetherness it brought will outlive the stress of the daily living it affected. It's how some of our great grandparents might have lived their whole lives! My parents used to rent an old farm house for two weeks every summer, just to live that way....no modern conveniences what-so-ever...except the store bought food and items they took along. Glad you made some nice memories!

Diana said...

You are really amazing Gail. I mean going through all of that work with no power (I know what thats like) and you still manage to make it sound so beautiful, it's almost funny!!
I didn't remember if you said you had your power back or not? I hope so. Keep warm my friend! Love Di ♥

Cinner said...

Would it make you feel better if I said it looks pretty....I heard it was a terrible storm. I am so glad you have that wood heater for sure. We used to have one at the farm, I swear I can smell it just thinking about it. Good for you for surprising yourself what you can do. As for you sitting on the bed sobbing I would have too...I am glad you and Skipp are safe that is for sure. We have had no snow here yet...that sound of trees snapping can be horrible...hugs to you dear friend....love ya.

Gail said...

@MADELINE - so good to have you come by and share in our October 'Nor'Easter

@BIRDIE - I love that you felt and took part in our adventure - "fairy-tale". I read your email too - I completely understand your analogy :-)

@JBR - I so love when you visit :-) and yup, vodka!!

@WANDA - ya, we did make some more nice memories. and we really worked together to thrive and be good neighbors :-)

@DIANA- so glad to see you around again - I have missed you, I emailed you and I saw you posted and I will finish reading it soon. And yes, we have power!! Many still don't but we do, Amen.

@CINNER - Hey girl - yes, our wood stove is amazing as is our charcoal grill which saved us in so many ways. and I got so silly when I was sitting there sobbing - I could not even say why it just over flowed and like I said I snapped out of it and got busy. So happy to see you\\
Love to you all
Gail
peace.....

Scott said...

Gail, it's great to hear that you got power back! I think that Connecticut may have been the worst-hit of all of the states (though i did hear a NH official on the radio say that this snowstorm devastation was worse than that produced by Irene). We only got three inches and only lost power for a few minutes (amazingly, since we lose power if someone so much as sneezes around here).

Gail said...

HI SCOTT - so nice to see you. Yes, Connecticut was hit hard and there are still about 600,000 yes 600 thousand people w/out power. The weather is better, warmer and dry so hopefully the crews will get every one up and running soon.
Love Gail
peace.....

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

Yes, Gail, I too, felt as if I was placed in a time machine for 4 days and brought back to a time when there was no heat, no telephone, no TV, no internet, no power - other than that we each generate in love, care and faith.

Ditto here for fallen trees, broken branches, downed power lines... many are still without power.

and now... restore...restore... work... work... safe and running.

Hugs to you and yours,
Rose Marie

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

PS. Your photos are quite beautiful... each speaks its own poetry... XOXO

Finding Pam said...

It is nice to know that we can survive with out power and heat. It sounds like you worked very hard, but so worth it.

It really makes one appreciate the weather.

Peace and Love,
Pam

Gail said...

HI ROSEMARIE - I so appreciate your poetic expression and faith based words that always inspire and bring forth hope and love. The days without power wee so a throw back to a time of great effort to survive.
Love Gail
peace......

Gail said...

HI PAM -
so good to have you come by. And we certainly learned a lot about ourselves as we faced this stormy challenge. Amen.
Love Gail
peace.....