Wow! I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last posted. More than that since I had a real post.
The winds have been blowing here "on the mountain", as they say up here. That means a storm is coming. They've been blowing for 2 days and nights. They blow hard and I generally dislike it very much. They slam into the house and bend the tops of tall pines as their persistence creates both constant and gusting roars ripping through the long pine needles. When we bought our property we had no idea how windy it was up here. We bought in winter and didn't realize that every spring and every fall the winds assault these mountain communities for weeks until the full change of season takes place. And every time there's a storm coming, the winds make their appearance for a couple days preceding.
I'm talking serious winds. Winds that make driving on the highway a tense experience. Winds that send your hair all over creation. Winds that make you lean into them. Winds that shut car doors on your leg, and winds that can rip cold air right through to your bones. After two days of these winds, I went outside tonight and it was...absolutely still. It stopped me in my tracks, the silence, the peace. I exhaled a slow and long breath of relief. I smiled. I sighed. I drank in the sight of motionless treetops. The quiet was beautiful. Ahh.
But, at this time of year, it does mean that this is literally the calm before the storm. It's supposed to snow tonight and all day tomorrow. But we're ready. I filled our water jugs when I was in town Friday. We restocked our wood shed a couple days ago. I pulled the truck in backwards today when I came home. That way we can drive straight out in case the snow is deep. When there's several inches snow on the ground I prefer to drive straight out in Forward rather than backing out in Reverse, even though we have 4-Wheel Drive and it's not that much of a problem.
Fortunately I don't really think the concern is warranted this time. Last night I heard the tail end of a weather forecast for tomorrow that said "...in the high country. Forecasts call for 8-14 inches of snow." What high country? Our high country? The high country north of us? South of us? West of us? I never could find out but checking the internet today it predicts only 1 inch in our area. That's fine with me! But you never really know for sure whether the forecast will run true. We never really how a storm is going to hit us. Sometimes it's worse than predicted and sometimes it seems to split and go around us entirely.
Last Saturday we'd heard snow was coming in the night. It came early. On our way in going to church as a matter of fact. That's one of the disadvantages of living over 20 miles from town; the weather is often different where we live than in town. It can even be different in different parts of town. And the drive is so long that the weather can change en route. It was barely snowing at our house, just little tee-tiny flakes. On the way to town we ran into rain. By the time we reached the half-way point, the rain was getting slushy. Another couple of miles brought discernible snow. Each mile after that was different. We hit pockets of heavy snow and light snow. By the time we were five miles from town it was downright bad. The plan was to swing by and get a $5 always-ready pizza, go by the drug store to pick up some things, and then head to church further down the road another 8 miles. 2 miles outside of town we were in a blizzard. We knew we needed to turn around and go home. So close, we decided to pick up the pizza and then turn around.
Big, fat, wind-driven snowflakes came flying at us as we drove home. It reminded me of "warp speed" in the original Star Wars movies. The drive home was slow. The roads were still OK - slushy and not iced over yet - but we were concerned about elk in the road. The snow was coming down and blowing so hard our visibility was only about 50 feet. We came home and hunkered down for the night, disappointed that we missed church but very thankful that the snow hit on our way in rather than while we were sitting in church. We would have had it much worse driving home at 8:30 pm if we'd sat in church for an hour and a half while a blizzard quietly raged outside. It's just one of the downsides to living so far from town.
I'll write more soon, to catch up with what's been going on for the last month.