Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Memories of Snowdays Passed

The mountain trail near the farm early this morning when we had half the snow that we do now.

           Here in Virginia, it's unusual to have large amounts of snow, especially so late in the season.  There are some years where we go without real snow, seeing little more that flurries around Christmas and perhaps nothing more that Winter.  Most years, we have a couple of good storms that are just enough to ensure rural children a few glorious snow days in which to sled down hills, and a few flurries and not much more. It is for this reason that Daniel so loved Winter storms and snow.  Even as a homeschooler, he thought snowdays were glorious !  This year, in our area, it's been a fairly mild winter with a couple of snows here. The weather people for the cities some distance from here had been warning us for a week about an incoming snow or ice storm. We didn't worry much because we are usually ready for most anything, and are pretty flexible anyway.
           Yesterday, we learned that not only was a storm incoming over night, but that our daughter had the flu and was pretty much confined to her new home.  I went over yesterday and dropped off bottled water because she does not yet have the Simple Pump as we do, which would allow her to pump water during an outage.  She looked more or less ready to make it through such a storm, and the day before she had new tires placed on her car.

Early this morning on the farm where Daniel lived for most of his life.

           This morning, we were still surprised to see so much snow, especially so late in the season. The lights went off and on here, which is a sure sign that some of the overhead power lines a distance from here, have a tree lying against them. Eventually we lost power.  Our son who commutes to college found that classes had been cancelled.  My husband found that there were deep drifts on the roadway making it impossible for him to go to work.  Our daughter called in to tell us that she was also out of power, but was no longer febrile and thought she might be a little better.  She called in to work to find that everyone there was being dismissed for the day due to rapidly collecting snow.  A friend told her that a car had turned over on the route she normally takes to work.  We called the power company whose recording tells us that they have multiple outages over a great distance and are unsure when any restoration of power will occur. Daniel did so enjoy everyone being home during power outages and blizzards, where we would make hot chocolate, sometimes, on the gas grill outside. These times were rare indeed.
           My husband normally keeps enough diesel to run our generators for a few days. However, he had used it in our diesel vehicles in order to rotate our stock, thinking that we were really in early Spring.  He headed out early this morning to try to get more diesel.  I think this was probably more of an adventure than anything else.  He returned an hour and a half later having helped neighbors remove trees from across roads, and having slid into a ditch when another truck ran too quickly in the center of the road.
           Presently, the generator is running, and we have internet. We have about 12 inches of snow in most places, as of noon.  We have drifts because we have wind gusts to 30 mph.  If you stand outside, you can hear trees snapping and falling over under the weight of the snow.  One of my favorite cedar trees over by the garage has cracked and collapsed this morning.

This is the kennel area.  The dogs all seem fine.

Another area of the farm. All the animals though it would be a good idea to stay in today. I can't say I blame them.

        The television station in Charlottesville, Virginia which is quite a distance from here is off the air, but the weather alerts we receive via e-mail say that the snow will continue until midnight tonight.  I must go now, and knock the heavy snow off the back deck of the house.  Stay safe, wherever you are. I hope the newly blooming daffodils are safe in the snow.

UPDATE:   Although the internet and landline phone returned within a day of having lost it, the electricity is still out.   We lost electricity on Wednesday and as of Saturday, March 9, 2013, we still do not have electricity restored.    We are still able to pump water using the Simple Pump and we run a generator intermittently. We have gas logs for some heat and cook in a limited way,  using a  gas stove.

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