March 9Posted on: March 9, 2013
The snow came down all day Tuesday, the 5th. A blinding white-out most of the time, then toward the evening it seemed to just stop. During the short respite of snow and wind, John took a bucket of water out to the chickens and was rewarded with eight eggs. Within an hour, though, the winds started up again, picking up the fallen snow and lashing it around into another white-out condition that lasted two more days, piling drifts across the yard and across the road. And it got cold; very cold: down into the teens during the day, and near zero at night.
It was this morning we started getting dangerously low on wood.
“I really do have to bring more in now, there’s no putting it off,” John sighed.
“I know,” I agreed. “Perhaps we can make it go quicker though. We’ve got two slings, and..”
“No, I don’t think it’s good to expose both of us to this frigid cold,” his eyes pleaded with me.
“I understand, but if we work together,” I held up my hand as he started to interrupt again, “by you bringing the wood into the cold room, taking the second sling to fill, while I take the full sling and stack the wood, and we keep switching, we can get this done in half the time, and get you out of the bitter cold.”
He smiled and kissed my nose, “you’re so smart; And logical.” We were done filling the space behind the stove in fifteen minutes, working as a team.
The days went by slowly; I baked bread and pastries; fixed meals; and read. John cleaned and oiled the guns; and read. And we played games: two handed solitaire, cribbage, domino’s, tri-omino’s, Obilquo; we did jigsaw puzzles and together we planned this year’s garden. John loves collards; I wasn’t going to do them again this time, but now I will, just for him; and if it’s warm enough we’ll try okra.
The boys called every day at noon on the FRS radio. Emilee is quite the chatterbox, always having something to tell her Nahna; Jacob is the silent one, but I’m use to that.
Today, three days after the snow stopped, the wind finally stopped too, and the sun came out. It’s beautiful. The sun reflected off the pristine snow in a blinding display of sparkles. Sunglasses are a must right now. Since Tom and Norene both wore glasses, there are no non-prescription eyewear anywhere in the house. But, being the Prepper I am, I do have cheap sunglasses stored out in the barn and in the car. As light sensitive as my eyes are and have been since a bout of Rubella when I was ten, I wear clip on sunglasses over sunglasses; nothing is dark enough for me.
It was a tough walk out to the barn. The powder is deep and I sunk at least 8” with every step. Thankfully, it’s a short walk; thankfully I can now see where I’m going. I tried to pack down some of the snow in front of the barn door so it wouldn’t all fall inward when I opened it. Once in, I was amazed at how deep the snow was against the doors. I had to shovel a ‘step’ to get back out. I collected all the sunglasses from the storage drawers and the car, and I just knew that Emi would lay claim to the Barbie sunglasses, and Jacob the Sponge Bob ones. I smiled at the fifty cent price tags: clearance three years ago; Fifty cents that will save strain on their young eyes. Of course there were standard sunglasses too; Eric and Jason won’t have to deal with wearing Dora or Nemo specs.
The fifth day after the blizzard started, John volunteered to shoe over to the boys and take them four pair of sunglasses and a sled. Having dragged a sled, full and empty, over a mile when I lived deep in the woods, I knew how strenuous it was with weight; those two youngsters together were well over a hundred pounds, very, very difficult to pull in one sled in deep snow, even a short distance; but one in each sled would be easier, and I was anxious to see my family.
I planned an interesting dinner: sandwiches, plus canned coleslaw (thank you David), macaroni salad, and apple pie for dessert. There were tuna sandwiches, and egg salad, grilled cheese and corned beef with sauerkraut; grilled if desired, heated or cold; all cut into four pieces for sampling. Jacob was very happy with a grilled cheese sandwich, and a juice box, popcorn for his snack. We even invited Bobby and Jane. It was a post-blizzard event, and everyone was happy to be out from under a blanket of snow.
Jane was amazed we had bread. “You made bread? Doesn’t that take flour and yeast and other stuff? Where did you get it?”
“I’ve been baking bread since I was fifteen,” I smiled at the thought of my first loaf; it came out perfect; since then, not all have been as pretty. “And I did my winter stocking early in November, before the collapse. But I am starting to run low on flour now, though,” I lied. I lied to protect our resources and so they would understand they could and should keep supplies on hand all the time. They need to be more proactive and not depend on others, and definitely not on us! Not for their supplies anyway.
I excused myself to check on the kids. I had found my old personal DVD player and charged the battery the last time the gennie was running. My two beautiful grandchildren were being treated to a movie right now, Nemo. They had to be quiet because the volume wouldn’t go very high on the player.
John followed me into the room and whispered, “Are we really running low on flour? Maybe we can cut back some, I know I can.”
I cupped his face with one hand, and stroked his beard; he was sweet to worry. “We’re not that low. There’s at least 75 pounds left, and mixing the white with fresh ground wheat will double that. It will last us months. I’m not concerned, at least not yet.” I reassured him. I would talk to him later about what and why I said that to Jane.
When Bobby and Jane left, I handed her one of the four loaves I made earlier in the day and promised to teach her how to make bread when things got back to normal. No one wanted to think that normal might not come back.
The boys stayed a bit longer, and we shared a quart of apple cider I had canned two seasons ago. I even set a bottle of rum on the table if anyone wanted to spike their cider. We all did. Jason and Eric had theirs with ice chips, while John and I had ours heated like a toddy. That was another thing I didn’t want Bobby and Jane to know: that we had alcohol. This is when I emphasized the need for keeping quiet about what supplies we had. When they left, they took one of the loaves with them, leaving us with a half loaf. It was worth every slice to have friends and family together.
4 thoughts on “March 9”
methinks one cold make snow goggles, if need be, from such things as leftover plastic milk cartons – cut them to fit (they are already flexible), use yarn if needed to tie them around one’s head like a Lone Ranger mask… I understand one can also use a bandana/rag with slits cut in it to allow minimum of vision, but haven’t tried it…
“Snow Blindness” is a real problem and can permenantly damage the eyes.
Hmm…sunglasses were not on my list, although I do keep all those curled up ones from the optomotrist.
No matter how close one is to one’s friends, family should always come first, even when it means exaggerating about how much one DOESN’T have in the way of food stores and such. I have ONE person who is not blood related family (she is chosen family) who I will be perfectly honest about what I have should a SHTF event actually happen. Also my brother.. my kids will be invited here to my home should the need arise, but their spouses have very large extended families close by, and I do not have enough for all of them, only my own. As a consequence, my own children are not aware of the extent of my preps, and they won’t be made aware of them any time soon. But I have prepped for them…