The always-reliable Farmer’s Almanac predicted that our winter this year would be relatively mild. Mild December? Check. Mild January? Pretty much. With just a few really cold days and a handful of snowy ones, considering the norm, we’ve been pretty lucky so far (knock on wood) in the ice department. Although we awoke to the tap, tap, tap sound of sleet pellets hitting the roof this morning, both Adam and I shrugged at the paltry amount of precipitation falling. The “Pfft!” No-Big-Deal kind of shrug because, believe me, we know it could be a lot worse. A lot worse. Like a couple of years back.
Actually, three years to be exact, when we had the mother of all winters. What the old-timers around here call “The 100 Year Winter.” The arctic onslaught began the week before Christmas with eighteen billowy inches on the ground. At first, we thought, How romantic! How festive! How very Norman Rockwell, lovingly smiling at one another as we gleefully dragged our sled loaded with food and presents up our impossibly steep, snow-covered driveway. That got real old, real quick let me tell you, especially when a devastating ice storm hit early Christmas morning, leaving us without electricity and water for six days. With intermittent power restoration, frozen water pipes, gelid temperatures and no vehicular access to our house for almost three weeks, I felt like I had been thrust smack-dab in the middle of the Doctor Zhivago set. After a brutal war. The grounds, now tundra, were littered with the debris of fallen trees; huge limbs that had snapped like twigs under their icy coating. My fish pond, now a miniature skating rink, made me unsure of the fate of its bright orange inhabitants below. It was depressing. So is the movie, now that I think about it. That was definitely a trying time. And just when we were about to pack it up and head to a motel, the power came back on and things were starting to look up.
Today, as I gaze out my frosty window at the waterfall – all icy and slushy from the storm, I smile. Not because of the picturesque wintry scene before me, but because we’re suppose to reach a sunny high of 61 balmy degrees next week.
I’m not a big fan of winter. Maybe I should have thought that through a little more before moving here. Oh, well. A small sacrifice we pay living in the mountains.
Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that February won’t disappoint. Sing it with me: No more ice, ice, baby.