Sunday, October 23, 2005

First snow

The quiet in the night woke me. The moon seemed extra bright. Without my glasses, I stumbled downstairs to let the dogs out. Oh, wow.

Big, sloppy clumps of snow falling from the sky, sloshing on the ground, which was already three inches deep in the stuff. Not flakes but handfuls of snow drifting silently down. We marveled for a few minutes, especially the puppy who has never experienced such a thing in her short life. “You expect me to squat in this! It’s cold.” Mystified, she jumped back on the step, then simply had to try it out again.

After sunup, the trees cracked warnings, and sure enough—as soon as the coffee was made—the power went off. It may be the first time that I have been in the house during daylight hours without power. I learned that I need to do a little more emergency planning—more candles, some way to heat a cup of water.

And I learned that although the furnace runs on oil, the blower is electric. More and more, I am glad to have my little propane stove in the living room. With the encouragement of the chimney cleaner, I am even considering burning wood in my combination furnace. After all, there is a lot of dry wood in the basement. When I learned that the This Old House plumber’s brother who burned down his house had the same furnace as mine, I thought twice about burning wood, but perhaps if I am careful not to overload it as he did…perhaps it will be an option. Certainly this is a year when we want to have a well hedged fuel portfolio.

It is funny now to look out and see the snow’s white carpet overlaid with yellow leaves. Late fall, early snow. Good thing I cleaned the garden yesterday.

Being without power was more challenging than I expected. Everywhere I turned there was something I couldn’t do. I felt like a deprived energy pig. Couldn’t cook—the stove is electric. Couldn’t do laundry, a standard weekend chore. Didn’t think it wise to clean out the refrigerator as I had planned. Couldn’t vacuum---yay!!!! (I hate vacuuming out of all proportion to the amount of time it takes.)

My big achievement for today was getting my big quilt frame reassembled for the first time since I left Brooklyn, two moves ago. Daunting undertaking though it was, it came together and now graces the living room. In many ways upstairs would have been more practical for such a bulky contraption, but Max can’t make it upstairs at all any more. We want all the time with Max we can have.

The puppy, incidentally, is enormous. Second and third time out, snow kinda grew on her. Soon she was romping and chasing the big boys, skidding down the walkway and chomping on snow.

1 comment:

Jola said...

I'm so happy for you that your coffee was made before the power went out.

What's a quilt frame?

Your dogs are so beautiful! My husband had a German Shepherd when he was growing up and I showed him your blog. Lots of ooohs and aaaahs and Shepherd love noises from him (he especially loved the photo of your Three Loves running in a field).

A late fall indeed - and now winter's in such a hurry to chase autumn away!