One of our friends hasn’t much sympathy for those who complain about cold or snow. We too, have said to ourselves and others, “If you don’t like extremes of winter weather, you’re living in the wrong place.”
Last week’s heavy snowfall hit most of us by surprise. I thought I had things pretty much put away, except maybe a few doggy dishes waiting for me to remember to bring them indoors for washing and storing. The dishes incurred a little damage as the snow blower hit them.
Gary has done 95% of the work of moving the new banks and drifts around. One day, at my request, he delivered the snow blower to me, all fueled up and ready to go. That was the machine, not so much me, though I too was fueled and ready to go. I spent a few hours throwing snow by shovel and machine, making paths and clearing out some of the outdoor dog kennels. It was exhausting, but not as bad as shoveling only. When the moment came that Gary offered to take over, I needed no convincing. By that time, he had plowed the driveway with our small tractor.
Then the temperature plummeted! In our part of the country, we often get -30˚, occasionally even -40˚. We are quite prepared, generally: enough firewood, good wood heater, backup baseboard heat too. Dressed warmly, it is not too much hardship for me to feed chickens (this is our first winter on this acreage for “livestock” other than horses) and care for pets, who are mostly indoors in the cozy kennel building. However, this time ’round, after the three feet of snow and then when the low temperatures set in, our power failed!
We were without Hydro power for 28 hours. It was inconvenient in some ways, but not a huge hardship. People in the nearby towns who did not have wood heat didn’t fair as well. Some didn’t have generators or other methods of keeping warm. Neighbours and strangers who had propane stoves or generators opened their homes to others for comfort and soup. As far as I know, everyone did survive.
Then everything resolved itself. Power was restored (in, it seemed, a random fashion … hard for the rest of us to understand the technology!), and people talked about the challenging weekend. Folks managed to dig out or be dug out, either by volunteers or hired help. We all had pause for thought about how to prepare for power outages in extremes of weather, either heat or cold (for example, how to save the contents of freezers!). It all seems like a dream now, and it could have been much worse, and isn’t the nightmare that people all over the world suffer.
The week since then has been rather ordinary! At this time of year, the Pet Hostel is not too busy. I have a poor memory for some day-to-day goings on, but I know that November is typically slow because I have just finished getting caught up with income tax again! This forces me to look at the business numbers.
We have just Smudge, Squeaker and Jasper boarding at this time. Tomorrow some more will arrive.
I have to say, this pleasant German Shepherd is just smiling as dogs sometimes do, but the movement of her head, or the shake of the photographer, makes her pearly whites seem four inches long!
Yesterday, I groomed Levi. He’s such a delightful boy.
He’s just yawning in this picture… a spa morning is so tiring!
I had Bodhi here for a day. He’s content while he stays with us, and is no trouble except that I have to watch him around the cats.
I have a lunch date today… hurray! Gary is skiing, and though I think that I treasure some time on my own, I miss him when he’s five minutes down the road. When we have three feet of snow and a power outage, I appreciate him even more … it really takes two adults to make this acreage work well. Mostly, it takes one hard working man and a sidekick (me), and I know this from some experience from years of living here without Gary. I never take him for granted or abuse his good nature. I do try not to, at least.
I must get on with my day. I have some berries thawing on the counter so that I might make some jams and jellies. I also have ingredients for cookie baking assembled. I can’t believe it’s December already, so I am thinking about Christmas giving and Christmas baking, although I’m not getting carried away with either.
Hope you are all well, safe and warm.
p.s. I thought I’d share this old photo that my dearest, longest-time friend posted on Facebook for the occasion of her birthday. This was her 4th. I’m the child on the furthest right, and I’m almost five years old. I swear I remember the dress, and wish I still had the locket!