January 8

Posted on: January 9, 2013

Jason made Jacob scrambled eggs for breakfast, which he devoured.  Poor little guy has been nearly starving.  He needs extra rations to bring his weight back up.  Since Jason is used to doing the cooking for Jacob, I’ve no problem letting him continue that.

Over coffee and toast, the three of us discussed the blizzard that still swirled around us with an intensity I haven’t seen in years.  We decided it would be wise to start melting snow for some of the water need.  I’ve been thru this before, years ago, but there is nothing like experience to show that a full pail of snow renders only 2” of water when melted.  It’s a harsh reality for those who think it’s easy, and a dependable method of having water.

To tackle two issues at the same time, we’re taking snow from the back deck, since it needs to be cleared anyway to access the generator.  The first pail of snow took hours to melt down and produced very little water.  I did this intentionally so John and Jason could see first-hand how little was gleaned from the melting.  Then I shared a trick I learned in the woods: with the little water in the pot on the stove, I added more from the kettle that’s always heating, just to speed things up a bit.  Once that came to a boil, I scooped some snow into it, and it melted almost immediately; I added more and more again, until the snow stopped melting on contact; then I let it heat and come back to a boil.  Heating warm water takes a lot less time than trying to heat the frozen water we call snow, but it’s still time consuming.  When the first pot was almost full of warm water, I split it into two pots, and we doubled our production.

While the guys were doing the snow thing, I got my Berkey water filter from the back room and set it up on a counter.  Drinking water is our top priority.  The Berkey Traveler is relatively small, holding only a gallon in the reservoir and a second gallon in the bottom as final product.  Since it will filter a gallon in less than an hour, it’s faster than the snow melting process.  When a full gallon was ready, I poured it into one of the five gallon water containers I use to collect water from the artesian well.  Wonder when I will be able to get back there, if ever.

Melting snow gave my guys a new project and kept them busy while the wind howled outside.  It made me smile to see them work so well together; then it occurred to me: they weren’t that far apart in age.

And the blizzard raged on.  It’s been 30 hours now.

4 thoughts on “January 8

  1. Thanks Deborah. I did not know that snow yielded so little water. I had been counting on snow water if something bad happened in the winter.

  2. Adults eating toast and coffee, grand boy getting eggs.. Story Deborah is a great gramma ;o) I never melted snow for water (don’t get snow much here in Texas) but its good to know how little water one gets from melting it, because I may not always live in Texas! I am learning while you entertain me.. best of both worlds, so I thank you :o)


  3. I love the way you are giving us useful information wrapped up in this great story. Special thanks for keeping it going over the festive season when you were probably very busy.

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