Shut Down

By , January 17, 2011

The severe weather effectively shut down the homestead for a while.

Saturday, when the wind forecast called for 55 knot winds, with gusts to 75, we stopped the wind generator and cut back energy consumption. We had plenty of battery power, but we conserved to make sure we’d see the blow through, as they predicted it would last several days. At the same time, our high barely reached 2°. By the end of the day, we’d managed to heat the cabin interior to about 60°.

Everything stopped. We’d been busy with Aly’s college application, this blog and Self Reliance Works, preparing edits for the short story book signing/reading later this week—all computer-based activities. Instead, we pulled out a favorite puzzle and dedicated the living room floor to it. The cares of the day could go hang—we were snug and warm enough, and we had the excuse to leave it all behind and do something fun all day.

We ventured outside as little as possible, although the beauty of the storm tempted us to make a few short trips. Michelle went out and got a few shots of the frozen sea spray on the beach. We also had to go over to hear the large trees on the cliff above the boathouse trail working the rocks as they swayed in the wind, and to see all the branch tips that had been sheared off the trees over the cabin and scattered around the yard. These were brief trips, though. Too much wind chill.

ice on the Zeiger homestead beach

The Zeiger homestead bight on ice (Photo: Michelle Zeiger.)

Mostly, we watched the water from inside, enjoying the huge wave splashes that ripped across our view as high as the cabin roof at times. The entire fjord steamed. It was a terrific storm, quite dramatic to witness.

The next morning, the cabin water had frozen, and the weather had shifted, bringing heavy overcast and a skiff of extra-fine snow. We thawed the water quickly, so we didn’t need to haul from anywhere. The winds slacked slightly in the afternoon, enough to allow us to safely run the wind generator again. Still, it seemed important to finish that puzzle. A batch of cookies seemed like a good idea, too. We had to wash dishes, and get showers. By late afternoon, we finally turned on the inverter, and returned to the applications, the blogs and the editing. None of it seemed that urgent anymore.

We still felt shut down, and it felt good.

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