Friday, January 30, 2009

It was silent at first. White blanketed the world and muffled any sounds. And then, standing in snow up over my ankles, I heard a gunshot sound, followed by a terrifying crash. The trees were breaking. Snow, followed by ice, followed by more snow weighed down branches already stressed by last year's drought. Each collapse caused me to wince. River birch and evergreens were bowed over. Each ruined tree was like losing a friend. We lost a hemlock and a willow.

We had also lost our electricity. Cedars weighed and bowed, pushed our our lines to modern living and likely shorted the transformer. We gathered wood for our wood burning stove, hunkered down for the day and enjoyed the novelty. I experiemented with cooking: cornbread cooks well on our woodstove top, but not brownies. We spent a not-so-restful night, stoking the fire, uncomfortable beds as the temperature fell in the rest of the house.

By the next day, we realized that we needed to drain water pipes before the house froze. Tremendously generous neighbors offered their house and we moved in with them, where we remain today. Our house sits cold and silent. We hear it may be a week before they get to us and more snow is possible.

Still, I try to find the teachings and beauty in each experience. We've had wonderful meals, teas, enjoyable activities and getting to know even better our friends and neighbors. It has been a surreal stepping out of our "real" life into an alternate existence. We've learned the generosity and patience and giving of people here where I live - how they call one another, offer and insist on helping, how we are not alone.


I am a bit behind on my blog reading, not having had electricity. I'll catch up with comments and blogs soon, I hope.

The animals are all fine, with the exception of the silkworms. I'm afraid that science experiment ended badly with this cold.

We are keeping the horses in, not that they don't like snow, but our electric fence is encased in ice and likely not working well. It is solar, so once the ice melts, we'll be good.


Passage of a Woman said...

Your photos alone eloquently tell the story. Have you ever thought to take up photography? I am releived to know you are all well. We, indeed, are our brother's keeper. God bless!

debra said...

I'm glad you're safe. We didn't get the ice but we surely got the snow. We have about 20 inches so far, and it's snowing a bit now.
Take care of yourself :-)

Cloudia said...

Wow, you are a pioneer woman!
"Each ruined tree was like losing a friend. " You are sweet.

Sounds like some neighborly Tennessee Aloha to me. I'm wishing you and your whole family, neighbors, and animals well. Aloha-

Kristen Painter said...

Wow. First of all, I feel your pain on the trees. Losing them sucks. Secondly, this reminds me of when we lived in VA and had similar conditions due to a hurricane that left a tree in our house, our water and electric gone and our neighborhood looking like a war zone. Hang in there. This too shall pass.

Robin said...

God bless your heart! I love your "sunny" outlook, because here in the TX panhandle? At this point we'd take TONS of moisture in whatever form it takes! Hauling compost I get more and more afraid, it's soooo dry and brown and they're not predicting any moisture until April?

But my ancestors and many before us have dealt with drought/blizzards/prairie fires...and they survived and thrived!

Sometimes I want to get nervous, and not trust that things will be alright, but guess what...they always are. Worring is a waste of time and energy.

I love that you embrace what most people would bitch about as an adventure! You're awesome! Looking forward to having you back!

Prayers are with you!

Sepiru Chris said...


When it rains, it pours.

Then it freezes.

Hoping for a quick thaw for you.

Enjoy your neighbours (the ones with the horses?)...


Karen said...

Beautiful photos! And sad about the trees. I remember years ago in OR we had a lot of rain, then an ice storm...then we got wind. We watched five tall trees in our yard just fall over.

The next summer our back patio reached temperatures of over 100 degrees, after previously being a place of cool and shade.

Hope you can get home soon.

jacobithegreat said...

beautiful pictures.

pita-woman said...

As I passed by the firehouse a few minutes ago, there was a woman, just about your size & hair color, dressed in light brown boots and a plaid flannel(?) shirt or jacket, crossing Main Str. @ 2nd, going towards the firehouse. I didn't see her face, but when I saw the camera, I thought, "I'll bet that's Junosmom!"
It would've been about 12:10-15pm, Saturday
Am I correct?

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Hello - I'm visiting via Sepiru Chris's blog!

How lovely to have such neighbours, and to see the 'teachings and beauty in each experience'. It is uplifting to read this.

I empathize with you about your trees - it is indeed like losing friends.

Sepiru Chris said...

Hey Junosmom,

I'm getting worried again for you and the characters that you populate your volunteer hours too.

The news coming out of Kentucky makes it look quite serious. Of course, new agencies like to emphasize that, but we will be hoping for you.

All the best,


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