The sun will come out tomorrow

When the sun showed its face after too many days of back-to-back winter, we were jubilant. It’s amazing what a difference a little sunshine can make to a person’s outlook. I am so thankful to see it.

olivia6-25 Page 4A.inddThere are so many things about this winter snowstorm, thankfully over, to celebrate.

First of all, we didn’t lose electricity. We are fortunate enough to have our electricity supplied by a rural cooperative. Our lines are well-maintained, and underlying brush and trees are kept in check. Although downed power lines and outages do occur, there aren’t as many outages as seem to happen with some other suppliers.

Next, our water didn’t freeze. And that is wonderful. If you’ve ever experienced that, you know how miserable it is to have no water supply and to have that coupled with no heat in the house. Plus, when you have farm animals, keeping them supplied with fresh water can be a brutal chore in inclement weather.

I don’t have to do that part. Fowler makes sure the horses and chickens have water each day. That involves dumping frozen water from the hen house and refilling containers in freezing temperatures, draining the hose each day after each use and coiling it up so water doesn’t freeze inside it, and weatherizing all outside spigots. We filled the bird feeders, and during the longest day of snow, ice and cold enjoyed watching a multitude of birds at the feeders.

Sparrows and wrens, red birds and chickadees ate together. A few crows fed on the ground. The only bullies were the blue jays, who are so aggressive, but they are beautiful, too.

There are also the horses and the dogs and cats.

Fowler keeps a fire going in the wood stove in the shop, and the dogs and cats all enjoy that. When he’s trudging around out there doing chores, he can go into the shop to warm up his hands.

Also, he has installed heat lamps in all the dog houses so they are comfortable at night.

And we were still able to cook. In this weather, hot soup is a requirement in order to keep going.

We were fortunate to be able to get to the grocery store before the storm and had enough food to last through the three days we were unable to get out.

We normally don’t watch daytime TV, because there’s always so much to do, but the afternoon of the heaviest snow I sat and watched two back-to-back episodes of “Gunsmoke.” That was all I could stand. I’m not used to being confined to the house, and finally hauled out the rubber boots from Ocracoke Island and dragged on all the layers of clothing necessary to survival for 30 minutes outside.

I was given a pair of bib coveralls one year for Christmas, and they usually come into service each winter. They are wonderfully warm, but getting into them takes an act of congress. It’s important to wait to put on your boots after you’ve got the coveralls on, or I assure you, you will find yourself in a predicament.

Tramping through the snowfall was invigorating, and after the Chihuahua and I had patrolled the yard and checked the feeders, we were ready to go back inside. He had more of a challenge than I did, as the snow came up to his chest. But he soldiered on. I finally carried him back to the house.

But now it’s all over. I hope this was our first and last winter storm of the season. Not that I’m complaining. Just a few more weeks and spring will come. It comes every year. I have faith.