Go Outside and Play!

By , November 30, 2011

A couple of days ago, it looked like we’d best stay inside for the rest of the winter. When rain started soaking our heavy, light snowfalls, it didn’t seem safe to go outside, let alone pleasant. And yet, I so easily forget that our weather is highly changeable. We (like everyone else, everywhere in the United States) are fond of saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes—it’ll change!”

Yesterday, the wind died with the sunrise, which lit banks of altocumulous clouds to the south, but found its rays remarkably unencumbered around our homestead. I’d measured 38 inches of snow on our veranda bench seat (after the rain had knocked down some of its height) but when I stepped outside, I found it all melted, save a thin layer of ice. Temperatures had risen to the mid-30s in the night. The day felt soft, inviting. I heard my late mother’s voice telling me to go outside and play!“Play,” on a homestead is a relative term, of course. I chopped wood and kindling, Michelle dug a better path to the outhouse through the piles of snow sloughed from the roof. We took care of a number of yard chores that had needed to be neglected during the more severe weather.

We also wanted to go to town for a lecture on gardening, so we hiked out. I carried a bow saw to clear windfalls off the trail if necessary. We wore snowshoes because we hadn’t broken trail since the last heavy snow, and didn’t want to post hole. That was the right choice. A moose followed our trail for a ways, making deep shafts through the packed snow. Our snowshoes allowed us to bridge right across them. We haven’t seen moose tracks on the trail in months. Apparently, the moose felt my mothers admonishment as well.

The day clouded over a bit, but continued to be beautiful. The temperatures dropped to freezing or below, but didn’t plunge. We drove home “followed” by a lovely crescent moon. A pair of whales lounged in the dark somewhere outside our bight most of the evening.

This morning, the 35 knot gale the weather forecast assures us will develop this afternoon is already upon us, full and by. The cabin is creaking and thumping from the force of the wind and the remaining rafts of snow, now ice chunks, falling from the trees. I had to brake the wind generator for a while so that the inverter won’t cut out as it does when it reaches its voltage limit. It’s too dark to see much, but it sounds like a good day to pull out a puzzle, or curl up with a good book!

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