Is officially underway. Yes, I know it’s already the 17th, and the days are getting longer. It’s cold! We have a fire going. We have no heat from the furnace, because the generator stops at providing lights, keeping the freezers cold, and energizing a few outlets. No stove, no microwave. Every few minutes another sheet of ice crashes down from the roof with a sonic boom, but we just look at one another, then back to the page of our book.

Here’s what that looked like earlier, before the temperature reached the present evening’s 40’s:

Now the house must be surrounded by these piles of ice. The little camelia outside our bedroom window has been crushed under the assault, and you just wouldn’t want to be standing around outside admiring the stars while this is going on.

Backing up: On Monday, when it became clear that we wouldn’t be going anywhere, Larry decided to try running the ATV down to the barn to collect the firewood we’d be needing. Ooops. The tough little all-wheel couldn’t make it up the hill closest to the gate, and slid into the fence. Larry had to hike back up with the news that we’d better ration the wood. The power was out much of Monday, but life seemed kind-of fun. Pioneering. Snow bound. Then overnight the power was miraculously restored.

But last night, at 10-ish or so, while I was still up reading my new fave, Jodi Picoult, everything went black again. Larry was already sawing logs, metaphorically, because wait for it. I’m not evolved enough to realize that my phone would work as well as a candle to see me into bed, so I groped blindly for a match, and tucked myself in.

No power this morning, no power all day. I made a cup of coffee by boiling water in the Instant Pot, and the toaster works fine for bagels. We are getting a bit low on essentials, like milk, cream, eggs (no, the chickens are on strike) and so on. This afternoon we thought we’d see if we could get out to the grocery. Tested the SUV on the driveway, and the ice seems to have melted enough to let the big SUV travel just down this far:

Across the road. Yep. Guess we weren’t going to the grocery store. We backed up, put on our hats and gloves and boots, picked up our walking sticks and hiked down the road to where the ATV lay ditch-wise. Larry coaxed it onto its feet and we made it to the barn where we could pick up the chain saw. Back up the road, we stopped and Larry sawed logs for real (haha.) A path wide enough to squeeze by. At least we could see that there were tracks on Llewellyn, so are encouraged that tomorrow we think we can at least get some food, even it we can’t cook it.

Side bar: Here’s how you cook when you have only an Instant Pot and a toaster. Take something out of the freezer, dump it into the pot, press saute, and go have a glass of wine or something NA if you’re me. Okay fine for nights 1 and 2. How much do you even have already prepared in the freezer, anyway? So this evening, night 3, I found some sort of braised mystery meat, but we’d need something on the side, like potato or rice or polenta, and you can only cook one thing at a time. Maybe you’d like to keep all of it warm at the same time? No can do. My uninspired choice was to boil some potatoes first and thereby make potato salad. Tragically, we’re also out of ice cream and the Christmas cookies are gone. Whimper. Okay, we’re fine.

The booming continues as I write, and we wonder just how much ice has accumulated up top. We’ve just heard a coyote cry, and realize this must be hard for all creatures down here on the Wood. We hear the geese flying, and the creeks are full and rushing so life surely goes on. Tomorrow will be better!

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