We’ve Been Flocked!

By , January 12, 2010

There are days when just going to the outhouse can be an adventure.

Snow's EVERYWHERE! It's recommended that one sweep before using . . . .

We have finally gotten some significant winter weather on the homestead. I’d begun to wonder if we’d get any—seems like the lower 48, significantly Florida, is getting most of it these days. We’ve had some colder temperatures, and some snow, but not as much as we’ve had in past years. We haven’t needed the snowshoes at all so far, which is a disappointment.

On Sunday this changed. We started getting fine, powdery snow, and significant winds. By Monday morning, our homestead was flocked—snow coated all surfaces, from every individual stick of wood in the shelter, to the outhouse—including the seat lid, the seat itself, even the toilet paper! Temperatures in the teens kept it all in place, despite our efforts to clear it here and there.

The snow isn’t too deep, except where it drifted. In those places, it’s above our 13” boots, including a healthy drift across the path to the outhouse. I had to carefully kick my way through it in the morning, then scoop aside the drift that piled up against the door. Michelle shoveled out the “pee tent,” a small pop up shelter that provides a bit of shelter for the ladies, twice, with more likely to be needed.

The weather service predicted storm force winds to 50 knots through Tuesday. I’m not sure we’ve actually seen that here, but we’re not planning to start the wind generator up for a few days, at least. The seas haven’t reached the predicted 10-11 feet, but at high tide the waves dashed high in the air, coating the rocks with ice.

The winds will switch to the south soon. When that happens, we’ll be back to slush, I’m sure. I just hope we can get some snowshoeing in before that. All we have to do is figure out someplace we need to go. We may take the pulk over to the blow down, to bring back some of the firewood rounds we cut the other day. If we can find enough snow uncluttered by blowing tree debris, we’ll make snow ice cream after dinner. It’s a good thing we didn’t go to Whitehorse, or we’d still be trying to get back home! The pass to Skagway is closed, I assume the Haines pass will close soon.

Appropriately, Monday’s poem was Mary Oliver’s Winter, which includes these lines:

“And the waves
Gush pearls
From their snowy throats
As the come
leaping . . . ”

“. . . and the sea still streaming like a mother wild with gifts—
In this world I am as rich
As I need to be.”

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