Okay, I know, I know–I’m a little obsessed. It is time for my yearly ode to snow. I just love it so much that I can’t help myself. In reality, it is so much on my mind over the last few weeks that I can’t think of much else to write about! It all starts with or comes back to snow. Living the rural life with a fair amount of land, not too many indoor options for kids, and a lot of driveway means that a lot of snow results in a lot of work and play!
It has been a fun and long and amazing and difficult February up here in the north. Last post I wrote about me working more, and a few posts ago I lamented our utter lack of snow. Well, February answered all of my dreams in full force! Lots of work and lots of snow for this Farmgirl!
Just in the last week we’ve had many inches of the white stuff in all forms–heavy and wet, amazingly light and fluffy, big and fat, faint and sparkly, windblown drifts and peaceful blankets. In fact, last week we had two snow days on account of the snow. We had to snow blow the driveway three times (and it could use another pass). Even the residential piles from snow plows are starting to tower and threaten to stick around until July. I’m in love!
I’ve also had many forms of non-domestic work–computer work, mostly; but it has ranged from research to writing to communicating to lesson planning and teaching. You know what? I think it helped me enjoy the snow days more than I would have otherwise.
Last Tuesday our power was out all day, this meant no internet and no computer work. Over a foot of 32/33 degree snow fell that day, weighing down trees and snapping off limbs that downed a few lines near here. Power was out in pockets all over our electric company’s grid with crews working for hours and hours. We haven’t had our power out for more than an hour or two in years, and I forgot how refreshing it can be. The silence that comes from the lack of electricity is startling at first. My long neglected candles were put to the test and the kids learned (repeatedly) that refrigerator doors and outdoor doors need to be opened very briefly.
We also learned that living in a rural area means that we don’t have water when there is no power because of the well and pump. Needless to stay–with three young kids who are *ahem* very regular, the bathroom doors needed to stay shut for the duration of the power outage. Yuck. I had plans to melt snow and flush toilets that way if it came to it. Luckily, the power came back on shortly after we went to bed. The candles have stuck around, though! What a lovely way to share tea and dinner with my loves.
Evan was out of town during this big snow event, so it was my job to clear the snow and entertain the kiddos while attempting to keep up with other duties. I fell behind, but the extenuating circumstances made it feel okay. School was cancelled for two days which meant no classes of any sort for me to teach or kids to attend. We couldn’t even really leave the driveway. Our schedules were clear for TWO DAYS! Unheard of. We spent hours and hours outside playing in the snow, piling a lot of the snow from the deck into big “penguin” slides and sledding tracks. We touched the tops of birch trees that bent all the way to the ground under the weight of the snow and we wandered the power lines looking for big branches cleared by the power company. I found some really nice birch that I have big plans for. Desk legs anyone?
I took a few moments here and there to reflect on the carefree-ness these snow days provided. It is sometimes hard for me to truly enjoy recreating with my family–especially in our home or on our property. I often have in the back of my mind the endless lists of menial things that aren’t complete. “If I just play with the kids for 15 minutes, they will give me an hour to do xyz” I remind myself. Honestly, I felt like a working parent when they are home from work–the fun one, the one who the kids love to play with, the one who has left work behind and can compartmentalize work and play. I was the one they were excited to have free time to be with, and it was pretty awesome. I know there is a way to find this balance without the heavy hand of mother nature forcing me to do it, but I’m ever grateful to her for the reminder!
So, here’s to more snow days and snow daze! Here’s to the opportunities to be carefree for a bit and enjoy the present with no pressure from the past or future.
Hope you all are doing well and enjoying your corners of the world.
Sending peace and love from Alaska,
Until next time,
Alex, The Rural Farmgirl