It’s been an unusual 10 days or so here at Aspendale Farm. I was two days in Ohio while my Mom was in the hospital, then drove home through both a heavy rainstorm and a near-blizzard snowstorm. The usual 3 1/2 hour trip took 7 hours. But I was relieved to be home. Jess had driven down to Miami with his Dad and JJ (taking the wifi card with him!) and the younger kids needed a parent home with them. Moreso than usual. About an hour and a half after I arrived home the snowstorm knocked the power out.
We were without water, heat, a stove, or any other of life’s electricity-dependent amenities. Even though we have a wonderful wood-stove, we need an electric blower to get the heat to actually disperse through the house. The great majority of our entire county was without power, actually – some doing without for as many as six days. Ours lasted only a couple days and we were good to go again. We actually enjoyed keeping toasty by the kerosene heater, and the soft light of candles and the kerosene lamp. The first morning, we visited with some very gracious friends who fed us breakfast (and lunch!), letting us keep warm at their place, enjoying several hours of good conversation before we needed to return home to mind the farm animals.
Admittedly I began to get nervous when, on day two of the power outage, the horses’ water was low. We could drive back and forth to my friend’s house to refill our water jugs for the chickens, dog, cats, and our own water needs. But horses drink upward of 10-12 gallons of water a day. Each. I wasn’t sure how we were going to haul 35 gallons of water. I didn’t have that many jugs!!! But God is gracious and we did have power again before what little water was left in the tank was completely frozen and you can bet we high-tailed it down to the barn and refilled the water trough and Lacy’s 5 gallon insulated waterer faster than Jack-Be-Nimble could jump over his candlestick. We ran around refilling jugs, taking super-fast showers and in general, preparing for a second round of no-power should there be more problems. Our hasty prep was unnecessary, and I have been so grateful for heat that just comes on when its needed, and water at the turn of a faucet!
Since then I have lived quietly, with no internet other than my iPad. I can’t do blog updates on it, and of course I can’t record or upload any Small Home Farm Radio episodes. Of course, my technical staff (JJ) was in Florida running in a marathon anyhow.
On that note, I am going to drop down to recording shows twice monthly for awhile. As we gear up for summer the work begins to build. I’ve started my first batch of plants (peppers, some flowers, some geranium cuttings, cauliflower and broccoli.) And there isn’t such a heavy stream of listener questions as of late, so I don’t feel any urgency keep up with answering questions so I don’t fall behind. I’m open to any suggestions or comments on the issue if you care to share.
Last summer I spent so much time training for upcoming races (I do the 5k, everyone else in the family has their own distance). I did not get to work with my horse nearly enough, and I’m determined not to let anything; race training, travel, the radio show… crowd out one of my chief pleasures in life again this year!
This last ten days without the big boys at home has been deliciously quiet and somewhat introspective. I continued doing the usual round of errands, lessons, and so forth, though admittedly I didn’t work out a single day! But otherwise I kept mostly to a cheerful corner of the sunporch, relishing a little R&R. I was sorry to see the quiet end when the boys tromped into the house yesterday afternoon, though of course, it’s nice to have them back safe and sound.
On the whole, it’s been both terribly exciting (snowstorm with the tops of trees so heavily laden with snow and ice that they bent to the ground) and not exciting at all (sitting in the sunporch with books and notepaper working on some quiet project). And that is pretty much it. Contrary to possible suspicion, I did not die, become comatose, get kidnapped, nor take a long trip. I’m still here, happily anticipating “springing forward” tonight, and waking up to what is about to become spring!