I often write about the beauty of our region, the magic of wildlife, the experience of living and working outdoors. I sprinkle in the intrepid adventures of Sally Sunshine, the mistakes and foibles of Doofusy-Dave and, of course, I include the comedic community of the other eccentrics living off the grid. All of that plus a whale sighting, ravens, squirrels and a tub of prawns now and then pretty much makes up the mental collage of what it is like to live out here. And it is all true. True grit, true beauty, true magic.
True as far as it goes, anyway….but maybe now is the time for some ‘hard cheese’.
Yeah, I know what you are thinking; “You two are spoiled rotten. Most winters you go to warmer climes. It is only right that you get a dose of real winter!” And that sentiment is true, also. You can’t really claim to be OTG if you don’t reside year ‘round now and again. Suffering winter to gain OTG cred, as it were. And, so, we picked the winter of 2019/20 to add to the resume.
So far, it sucks.
Firstly, we seem to have had nothing but constant rain for the last 6 weeks. That is not quite true but that is the feeling. Lots of rain. Lots of rain and fog! And, over the last few days, we have more than flirted with snow! We are pounding through the woodpile. We are running the genset on average four hours a day! I am frequently turning on and off the heat tapes. And the damn internet (on satellite) keeps dropping any signal – too overcast.
“I think we may as well go to bed and rekindle our marriage.”
“I think you should shut up and go cut more kindling!”
It is getting a bit tense in here.
In theory, I should go out to the workshop and tinker or fix crap. Maybe indulge in some manly hobby? But it is freezing out there and, if I heat up the shop, then I have to work! That doesn’t seem like a logical response to the situation to me.
What I need is a winter project, one in which being cold and wet isn’t required. Something warm and pleasant……”Say, let’s discuss that rekindling idea again…?”
“Let’s discuss that kindling first!”
Part of the growing chasm between us is the water system. It’s a bit of a burden in winter. I keep the pumps and pipes going, Sal keeps the intake pipe open. Her chore is the hard one made even tougher by the cold, wet and a raging stream into which she has to dive to clear the intake. Plus she has to climb up an overgrown ravine to get such an exhilarating experience. One of our neighbours suggested that Sal might want to carry a firearm when she goes—for the bears and cougars. Bear spray at least.
“Nah! She’s good. And, anyway, another few weeks of this and she’ll be so nasty no animal will get near her. Not even the rekindling kind.”
As I write this, visibility is about one mile. Wet. Temp near freezing. Forecast for -19C a few days from now. I am NOT used to that kind of cold.
Not a creature is stirring….except ants! That’s right, ants! I guess our house is warm and theirs is not and so they want to share. We do not want to share. So, I am currently engaged on the Western Front (of the house) where we believe the little bastards are entering. Yesterday, we had maybe a dozen. I fired the first salvo of poison and today? Only one so far. We’ll see.
So, there you have it…..death, dismal, dark and depressing amidst the cold, wet and freezing….while living with a claustrophobic wolverine (cute, though) and trying to figure out where we will be going next winter.