I'm finally back to blogland…but, unfortunately, can only hang around long enough to give you a quick riverbank update. However, first off, I want to say thank you to everyone who worried about last Tuesday's predicted ice storm and, in my ensuing silence, wrote asking if things were okay. Myladylove, Moon-the-Dog, and yours truly are fine. A bit worse for wear, perhaps, but nothing a little rest won't cure. I appreciate each and every inquiry, though.
The ice storm arrived right on schedule midday Tuesday. At first freezing rain, then sleet and freezing rain, then sleet…and sometimes mostly snow. When the situation on the roads became almost impassable, and tens of thousands of businesses had already closed long ago, Myladylove's boss finally capitulated to the weather and sent everyone home—way later than he should have for safety's sake, but greed invariably trumps common sense in such decisions. Thankfully, she made it home.
About 8:30 p.m. the cable went out, followed at 9:00 p.m. by the power. We were suddenly in the dark with only candles, oil lamps, and flashlights for light, and the fireplace for heat and cooking—though I have several camp stoves and could have easily gotten fancier on the meals. Anyway, the power remained off from Tuesday until mid-afternoon Thursday. We "camped out" in the great room. Intrepid adventures or neo-Neanderthals, depending on how you view such primitive reversions. Mostly, we just read, talked, cooked, huddled/snuggled, and just had fun while taking things in stride. I'm not sure how many of the 80,000-plus nearby households who were also without power would say the same.
It was both frightening and amazing that first night, as ice continued to fall and form on the trees. Trees and limbs and small branches were breaking off under the weight and crashing or clattering earthward constantly. And I do mean constantly. When we went outside to the woodpile, there was never more than a moment or two when something—big or small—wasn't coming down. We tried, as best we could, to not be directly underneath a tree any longer than necessary—though seeing as how there are well over a hundred trees in our yard, plus the fact that the woodpile is just below a steep bank covered with fairly large trees, such considerations were more theoretical than practical. At some point you just have to listen close and take your chances.
After the power came back on (for us, nearly a thousand families are still without), there were cable issues which only just got resolved—hence the explanation my continued silent hiatus. Plus three day's worth of missed schedules and deadlines to somehow make up. An incredible amount of clothes and bedding to laundry. Groceries to be bought. Lots of dishes to wash. Etcetera, etcetera. Not to mention a long night's sleep in a real bed, and even longer blissful hot showers beforehand.
But I did take a few (1100 and something) photos during the period—of which the above house finch in the falling snow is one. I will post only a fraction of those—I promise!—in the days to come. And I'm looking forward to reading all the posts from fellow bloggers that I've missed. I do hope everyone is okay and doing well.