Monday night a storm came through, bringing a lot of snow (at least for these parts.) Jeff awoke in the night, headed to the bathroom and noticed the electricity was out. He was startled when he felt our house shake and looked out the window to see that a tree had fallen on the house. Then I awoke and we both heard branches cracking. I scooped Bracken up in my arms and we all came downstairs. We heard more trees falling and branches cracking from time to time, but mostly the world outside was silent and heavy with snow. The trees around here are not used to the weight, so when a lot of snow comes everyone gets a little nervous. We all slept downstairs that night- missing the comfort of our bed and sleeping restlessly, uneasy about falling trees.
The next morning we went out and were relieved to see that the house wasn’t damaged. We were surprised to see that there was a giant branch on our truck, still slightly attached to a tree. Jeff was able to safely remove it with his chainsaw and our truck was undamaged as well. We saw that other trees had fallen all around our greenhouse, but had all managed to miss it by centimeters. Thank goodness! Jeff said it was truly miraculous the way everything had gone undamaged. Since the last storm, we had been wanting to get all the trees near our house trimmed, but didn’t have the extra funds to pay for it. We had been on the lookout for someone willing to trade wood for the services. All the trees that had fallen were ones that needed to be removed anyways and thankfully they hadn’t damaged anything on their way down.
Some crocuses were poking through.
The first daffodil was bent over, face in the snow.
The branches on our favorite huckleberry bush were touching the ground with the weight.
The green still showed here and there.
Our garden sign showed up more with the white background.
Throughout the day, the snow melted until the mountains were no longer covered with it (as you can see in the background), but it still hung around the yard.
To me, stacked wood is a beautiful sight and the snow made it look even more so. (The only wood we had stacked outside was the wood we are curing for next winter, the other firewood is in our woodshed.)
The next few days we kept the woodstove going and made our meals on it (and some with the propane stove.) If the weather would have been nice, we would have worked in the garden, but since it was stormy, we mostly stayed indoors. Bracken enjoyed getting even more attention from both of us than usual. I knitted, Jeff worked on some felted wool creations. Occasionally we listened to the radio for updates, but mostly we savored the quiet and each other. There were even moments of non-doing, which are rare for us, and we let the relaxation sink in. There was still plenty to do- cook meals, haul water (our pump to get water from our well uses electricity), do dishes, and clean. We read books aloud, we had good conversations, and we talked about our dreams for the future of this place (including feeling further inspired to use alternative energy and be off the grid.) We had quality time together as a family.
On Thursday evening, a truck from the electric company came up our driveway to check the power lines. Jeff went out and asked about the progress. They said there were so many areas without electricity, that we might be out for another four days. Another four days?! Yikes. The next morning we went to town to get more supplies- like ice and propane. When we returned home that afternoon, our electricity was back on! What a wonderful surprise. We were so grateful, yet admitted that our time without it was quite nice in some ways and we felt we had actually needed it. After the unplugged time, we felt renewed to delve back into our busy lives.
And the comforts of home never felt so sweet- a hot bath, doing a load of laundry, cheery lamp light, and even flushing the toilet without having to haul water! Luckily, everything in our freezer was okay. We’ve been counting our blessings more than usual these last few days.