The snow at the rabbit patch, lingers and will for at least a few days more. Like everywhere else, it is cold here. This is not the “holiday”, as those of the past. The affair of a snow, is usually a short lived one, here. We have a day of snow which promptly melts within a day or so. We have a day off, and there is just enough hours of it, for children to toss snowballs or build a snowman-and have snow cream. The next day, we all go along our merry way for it is back to work and school. This time, is no ordinary holiday. . .and I am now using the term “holiday” loosely. The country landscape is full of sparkle and shine. . .but we are not building snowmen . The wind makes it unbearable and especially without the proper attire.
The wood heater was cold, this morning. I needed to clean out the ashes, which I dreaded. Gathering wood on this morning, was not for the faint of heart. It was less than 20 degrees when I went out, and that does not include the factor of wind. I was thankful that the snow was soft and not icy. You can believe that I collected the wood in record time , by sheer will. Once, I had a fire going, I removed my boots and gloves, neither waterproof, to dry. I had to check the water pump as I had awaken with a picture that flashed in my mind, of the light in the pump house. The light provides enough heat to keep the motor from freezing. It is of great importance and the task could not be neglected. I am old enough now, that I do not discount “flashing pictures” and so I prepared to go back out, with almost dry boots, and slightly scorched gloves. It was a good thing, for as it turns out -the light was out.
Tomorrow, the highest we can expect is eleven degrees. I have never experienced such low temperatures for an extended period of time. I remember one year, the temperature on Christmas eve, dropped to zero. The children got a pony that year. I remember a year that February was cold every day. Another time, a few years back, we had a day or two of air cold enough to freeze pipes, so we have had “cold spells”, but I do not ever remember such conditions to tarry, as these do. I had no idea, as I waited with such joyful anticipation for snow, that it would come to this.
Saturday, the “coldest evening of this year . . .or any year, thus far”
I woke before the early service. The farmhouse was so cold, you could see your breath. The heater, by my bed was off. It was a new heater and so I read the service manual and read that the filter had to be cleaned. While I worked, I listened to the news which confirmed my suspicion that this was the coldest, it has ever been at the rabbit patch. It will be Monday, before it starts to thaw and I have no idea what the aftermath will look like. Currently, the only source of water is in the bathroom.
It was ten am, before I had the heater up and running-and a good fire in the wood heater. I am so thankful, we have kept power. To improve my spirit, I remembered the moonlight casting its’ glow on the snow. How beautiful to see snow in moonlight. I thought of children who had never seen snow-and those children that had only vague memories, to rely on. I was glad for warm socks and soft blankets. The kitchen is well stocked -and so is the pantry. . .and this is a temporary condition, after all. I also watched a documentary about a person injured on a hike and so was forced to spend several days in frigid weather. That cured me of any gloom , I might have been conjuring up.
Tonight, is forecasted to be another record breaker-colder than last night. It is early evening, and I am already in the warmest attire I have and under several blankets. Cash and Christopher Robin are tucked in, too. All of Farm Life is silent. It has been for days. Only a handful of vehicles have braved the elements and traveled the still hidden road.
I suppose, we will all talk about this winter storm for years to come. We will remember the unfamiliar temperatures and frozen water lines. . .and I will remember those things too-but I will also remember the color of snow at sunset. . .and the shine of it, in early morning light. I want to remember collecting wood in the stark, still winter night . . . and eating snow cream. I must not forget, to love the coldest evening of the year, too.