Friday, March 16, 2012

Roughing It - Part 3

March 4: evening

We prepared for bed, wondering what the work week would look like. Flannel pajamas, socks, and hoodies pulled up over our heads, we crawled in between the flannel sheets and snuggled down under the piles of blankets and down comforter.

This was nothing new to us, though. Our bedroom used to be a front porch. I think they forgot to put insulation in the walls. And if you peel up a floorboard you'll look straight down to.... dirt. Nope, not kidding there. It also sits on the northwest corner of the house, you know, to get the full effect of those lovely nor'westers that like to blow through in the winter. You know that whole "Ma in her kerchief and I in my cap" thing? Yeah, we get that now. We finally put a thermometer INSIDE our bedroom a couple of months ago, just to see how cold it really gets at night in the winter. This was a mild winter - the lowest temp we saw in our room was 38.

March 5:

But on Monday, March 5, I didn't think to go back, in the predawn darkness, and look with my kerosene lamp at the temperature gauge in the bedroom, though with an outside reading of -10, it was likely to be pretty close to freezing in there.

Colby dressed in the dark living room, warmed by the fire in the stove, and drove away to work, his lights blazing through the utter darkness surrounding us in the valley, illuminating the snow covered trees. I stood in the window, holding the lamp, watching him blink his brake lights back at me three times to say "I love you", then turn, his headlights winding through the trees.

By the time the children were awake I was 100 pages into a new book.

And I'd discovered the plain cake donuts that Colby had brought home. Let me just say right now there is something simply wonderful about a plain cake donut dipped in coffee.

We began our day as we usually do on school days, with worship and reading, but it was impossible to hold their attention long. As the sun came up it was obvious the day was going to be beautiful. The blue sky against the snow that still clung heavily to every branch made an impressive backdrop to their SNOW FORT!!!!




After a fun time in the snow and a warm up by the fire with hot chocolate, we packed up and headed out to run some errands and escape from the isolation of the house.

Little Valley Farm




We went to Colby's Dad's house where the kids played the wii and I was able to take a shower and catch up on facebook a little before we needed to run a couple more errands and head home.

After dinner we read more of Farmer Boy and tucked the bundled up little Evie Claire into her bed before sitting down at the table for a round of Review & Herald's Birds game.

March 2012 329

The kids take this game very seriously, if you can't tell! At least the older two do. They compete to get the birds of prey books. Elayna would rather sit on my lap and snuggle still.

March 6:

By now the routine didn't feel as foreign. No more fumbling as I lit the kerosene lamp, no more trying the light switches every time I walked into a room. Now if only I could say the same for the other tasks of the day, like getting water for washing dishes, bathing, and getting clean water to drink. I didn't even WANT to think about what I'd need to do for laundry. Either way, doing it by hand or taking 4 kids to the laundromat held the same basic lack of appeal.

We do have a well in our basement. We are fortunate to be able to have such a readily available source of water, but our old hand-pump needs a small repair in order to function. If we had been able to use the pump during our power outage, it would have been incredibly helpful. I also need a wash board, more chimneys for the other two kerosene lamps, a pair of Muck Arctic Sport boots like Colby's (try wading through thigh-deep snow in YOUR husband's boots for a while, whew!) and maybe some more perseverance in the optimistic attitude category.

Because, to be honest, by this time the adventure had gone out of it for me completely. Why bother making the bed? Why bother getting dressed? The house felt dirty. I felt dirty. It was beginning to feel like a camping trip that I couldn't go home from.

But we got up anyway, made the bed, washed the dishes, and hit the school books. At lunch time we were out of drinking water and were needing to pack up and go get more when I noticed the service truck parked out by the downed power line.


Shortly after that two bucket trucks showed up and within an hour the electricity was back on. It was LOUD. The refrigerator, water pump, and water heater seemed deafening after so many days of silence(and yes, writing it now, it does seem funny to call anything "silent" that included the presence of 4 children).

By nightfall we had all had baths. Warm, soothing, scrubbing-clean baths that felt heavenly. We tried to put the children to sleep with guitar music again, but it didn't work. It wasn't the same without the candles and kerosene lamp. We tried reading Farmer Boy, but only got through a couple of pages. The kids were excited. I couldn't really blame them. The whole thing had been a grand adventure that they won't soon forget. They went upstairs to their nightlights and their Your Story Hour tapes and climbed into their beds to sleep, safe, sound, warm, and to wake to new adventures on the morrow.

Outside their windows icicles dripped and clumps of snow fell from the branches and a south wind began to blow.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Love it. You are a STRONG woman Lisa. And you seem to keep a good attitude in the hard times. Good role model. Always enjoy your posts.


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