The Longest Winter

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We moved from Boston in mid-December, last year. It was misting on and off while the movers hauled box after box, after bureau after steamer trunk from our small apartment. It was roomy and spacious when we first moved in 11 years before, but we slowly outgrew it. Too much stuff kept coming in and nothing ever went out.

It had cleared by the time we loaded up our two cars with the last of the stuff and five cats and drove the five hours it took us to get to the farmhouse in Chesterville. [Note to self: never drive anywhere with five cats for five hours again!] We turned off the headlights and were stunned when we looked up and saw the entire Milky Way blazing overhead. We were tired, but happy to finally be in Maine.

The next day, the snow started. For the next three months, I'm not sure it ever stopped. It could have been the same storm, circling slowly all winter, dumping piles of snow in the western mountains, heading out to sea, gathering moisture and then turning back west to dump on us again.

At first, it was wondrous -- the white Christmases of childhood, when school was out and the sledding was good -- real good. Then, Christmas was over and New Year's was upon us, and the snow was still falling. Still, it was magic snow.

Now, I've never lived in a house with a metal roof before, but I do remember the tin roofs we had on our barns when I was a kid. When a little heat from the sun or the cow barn warmed that tin, look out below! Rumbles of snow would avalanche off the roof, burying everything. And it would pack in good and tight.

Well, this farmhouse has a metal roof. A few inches of snow piles up mighty quick when it all slides off at once. And pile up it did. Lots. In drifts. Over the top of the lower window sashes around the house. It was getting dark in the house in the middle of the day. Only one thing to do: strap on the old snowshoes and walk around the house, shoveling out the windows.

But the snow kept coming last winter. Only a week after I shoveled the windows out, I had to do it all again. The winter wonderland was losing its novelty. Fast. The last time I hired some guys younger than me to go around and shovel out the windows one last time. Luckily, the snow stopped before they had to be shoveled again. Even the guy who plows our driveway (who we got to know quite well) was sick of it by the end.

Somehow, my wife and I made it through last winter, when record snowfalls were set. We both work from home and only ran out between snowstorms for food and other essentials. More amazing, we didn't reenact the ax scene from The Shining, ("Here's Johnny!") But I couldn't figure out why the ax was always missing when I went to chop wood...

Spring finally came, and luckily little mud season. Black Fly season came next (I swear I still itch from those bites even now,) and then Bat season, followed closely by Tourist season (a season waited for with anticipation for some and dread for others...)

So, it's getting on to Fall around here and some of the trees are starting to turn. I'm harvesting tomatoes by the armful and pumpkins are starting to color up nicely. Soon, we'll be raking leaves and closing up the house. Wood will be stacked in the woodshed and we'll settle down for the first snowfall. This year, may the snow be very late in the season and the temperature be very balmy to boot...

Well, at least I know where the snowshoes are...


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This page contains a single entry by JeffAdminist published on January 20, 2009 11:47 PM.

Waiting for the Wood to Dry... was the previous entry in this blog.

Working from Home... is the next entry in this blog.

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