2022 Life Logs, Day 29: Raging Blizzard

2022 Life Logs, Day 29: Raging Blizzard
Date: Saturday, January 29, 2022
Weather: Winds 20-50, Snow 1-2 feet; High Temp 33, Low Temp 10 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Shadow and I got up at 8 am to a very white, windy world. I went out for a romp in the snow with him first thing but couldn’t stay outside for more than 15 minutes. We walked down to the dock and was surprised at how high the tide was. The lower dock was higher than the upper dock. Shadow, he who loves snow, evidently doesn’t love the wind blowing the snow sideways as he wanted back inside as well. Once inside, I turned on the weather channel to see what was happening elsewhere. But not for long. At 8:45 am the power went out just for a few seconds at about the same time the wind really started powering up. The wind kept howling all morning and the snow kept falling and blowing sideways. I didn’t realize how loud the wind was until 1:30 pm when it seemed to instantly calm down while I was eating lunch. One minute the wind was howling, the next it was almost eerily quiet. It was probably still blowing 25 to 35, but that was better than 40 something!

I got power back, lost it again, got it back, and finally lost it for good. It is still off, so I am sitting in the dark except for the light of a little battery-powered lantern. I have been using my propane-powered Mr. Heater all day and it was able to keep the whole cottage temp at 68 F where I normally have the thermostat set. But during the afternoon, I was fully immersed in writing when the heater ran out of fuel and shut off. By the time I noticed, the inside temp had dropped to 64 and it is still there. I will leave the heater on until I go to bed. Then it goes off until morning. I will be warm enough for the night, but it could be quite cold by morning. It is getting down to 11 or 12 degrees F tonight and is forecast to be in the low 20’s tomorrow. Sure hope the power comes back on sooner rather than later.

So I don’t have heat or lights, but both should return when the power is restored. Others are having more serious challenges. Heather and Jed have power coming to the house, but the fluctuations in power yesterday damaged something in the ciricuit board and the electricity in the house is spotty—in some rooms but not others. The mother board in their furnace was also blown out. They are using space heaters in some rooms which keeps them barely warm but not freezing. They were able to get an electrician to come tonight to check things and the furnace folks are coming tomorrow. If parts are available, hopefully they will be back up and running by tomorrow night. But if parts have to be ordered, who knows? As I said to Heather, that is a real pain, but frozen pipes would be worse. I just got an update from them telling me they actually got an electrician to come tonight. At least they have lights and so far, no frozen pipes. Friends Bruce and Jane Wooden are also being challenged to the max with no electricity and a heating system they are trying to keep going with their gasoline generator. The Woodins, the Goldstones, and myself join the masses of others that are struggling to stay warm.

I wanted warm soup for lunch today, but assumed that since I had no power, I couldn’t use my gas stove. For some reason, I thought that the electronically controlled pilot lights couldn’t be lit with a match. That is true for the oven, but when I was talking to Justin this afternoon he told me that a match would do the trick on the stove top burners. He was right, but I had already used a little butane stove Mark and I bought in Thailand to heat the soup for lunch. I have thought about throwing that away many times but was not sure how to get rid of the whole bag of butane cannisters. So, it stayed tucked away in the basement, along with too many other things. I was reminded today of what a good little one-burner stove it is. Glad I didn’t throw that one away!

Shadow and I had two romps in the snow this afternoon, but the last one, just before dark, ended on a scary note. We walked out to the street which has been plowed so the snow was not very deep. But back in the yards, mine and Shirley’s, I measured anywhere from one foot to two feet of snow, not to mention the much deeper drifts in places. Shadow frolicked and seemed to be having fun in the deep snow, but my gloves were wet and my fingers were freezing. We headed back to the house. He was right beside me, I thought, then all of a sudden he was just gone. I called and called and he didn’t come. I went in to get dry gloves and then went back out to start the hunt. It was then that I saw his little black head hiding behind a bush. He had found a place with very little snow and I guess he had decided that was where he was going to stay. He willingly followed me inside, but by this time it was dark and he obviously doesn’t like that either. I turned on a little battery-powered lantern, but that didn’t help. He just stood beside me and wouldn’t move. It took a while, but I finally got him to lay on his favorite blanket on the sofa. I hope the deep snow and darkness have not permanently traumatized him!

I won’t be able to send this log tonight since I don’t have power or internet. I will send tomorrow and include some photos I took today. I love the photo of my living room window and want to share that. Since mid-morning, I have not been able to see out of it nor the front storm door that is all glass. They are plastered with snow and ice. I feel like I am looking at the world from inside a snow globe that someone just shook really hard. And by this evening, the entire front of the cottage is totally plastered with snow. It is going to take a while to dig out of this one. It is beautiful, but I will be glad if this is the last big snow for Cape Cod this winter. This one is going to stay with us for a few days as it is not going to warm up enough to melt anything until later next week. That will give everyone plenty of time to enjoy the snow. Then I’ll start to think spring. I know that is premature, but I can dream.

2022 Life Logs, Day 14: Nasty Weather, Productive Day

2022 Life Logs, Day 14: Nasty Weather, Productive Day
Date: Friday, January 14, 2022
Weather: Rainy All Day, High Winds PM; High Temp 43, Low Temp 10 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The vacation is over. The nasty weather today pushed me back to ‘normal’. For two years now, I have been trying to get the photos on my computer in order. I don’t know what happened this morning, but I started in on the task and will finish tomorrow if I have another day like today. That will make me a very happy person and will allow me to begin writing again. I am very much looking forward to that. It was January 28th last year when I started writing, with a nudge from my son, and I didn’t stop until summer. We shall see how this winter and spring go.

Last night I watched the Netflix movie, Don’t Look Up. My son Justin sent me a text a couple of weeks ago telling me I must watch it. Now I am saying to you, if you haven’t seen it, you must. Ten years ago, I would have thought the plot line absurd, but in today’s world, not so much. It tells it like it is, absurd as that may be. Was it meant to be a comedy or a tragedy? Probably a little of both. Is it a good satire? That, I am sure, depends on your set of beliefs going into the movie. I would say the central question brought forth is whether or not you believe we should listen to scientists or not. There is star-studded cast and the acting is great. It is a little long and a little dark. But people, whatever they think of it, can’t stop talking about it. Greed, politics, misinformation. You get the idea. Here’s part of a review I found online: “Don’t Look Up is . . . about a planet-killing comet headed to Earth and humanity’s reaction to the impending doom. The comet is a metaphor for climate change, and the characters all play their part from the scientists screaming into the void to the tech billionaire who wants to mine it for minerals using unproven technology.”

It is quite windy out and has rained all day. Shadow and I went for our daily walk, but I can’t say it was fun. We were both soaked when we got home. And believe me, there is nothing as ‘sweet’ smelling as cuddling up to a wet dog! This wind is bringing us cold weather for tomorrow. It is forecast to be windy with a high of 20 F and a low of 9 degrees F. Cold, but better than tomorrow’s forecast in Bethel, Maine, where Heather and family are headed tonight for a weekend of skiing and snowboarding. It is forecast to be -9 F there tonight with a high tomorrow of 4 degrees F with 15 mph winds. Yikes! Wind chill. At least there will be sunshine. As Heather said, they will go to the slopes for a couple of hours in the morning and see how it goes. They can return to their rental home for lunch and warmth and then head back if they dare. Sunday looks great, however. Sunny, a high of 21 and almost no wind. So, if tomorrow is a bust, they can make up for it on Sunday. This weekend trip is Sam’s 15th birthday present and his second Covid dominated birthday. His good friend Robert and Robert’s family were supposed to go with them, but in the flurry of Covid testing they all went through for the trip, Robert turned out to be positive. He is asymptomatic, thankfully, but that family will not be going. One of Sam’s other good friends, Sebastian, is still going. I am sure Sam is bummed that Robert and his older brother won’t be with them, but I know that Sam, Sebastian, Jonah, and Ollie, along with Heather and Jed, will have a great time. Heather sent a photo of her five guys when they stopped at Five Guys for dinner on the way up tonight. I texted back that they looked like the Five Bandits with their masks on. She texted back that at least she didn’t have to fight with them to get them to smile for the photo. Okay, one positive for Covid?

2021 Life Logs, Day 303: Quiet Day at Home

2021 Life Logs, Day 303: Quiet Day at Home
Date: Saturday, October 30, 2021
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Rain Early and Late; High Temp 62, Low Temp 57 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

There was just enough rain this morning to change plans for the day. Ollie’s early morning soccer game was cancelled, and it was too wet to do yard work. I thought I was going to spend my day playing ‘pick up sticks’ in my yard, but instead, computer issues took priority. It was a quiet day at home being frustrated by my computer. I am dealing with the aftermath of a change in the way all of my photos and other files are stored in a cloud. Until this past week it was done by something called Back Up and Sync, but Google is no longer supporting that and thousands of files need to be move to Google Drive. It sounds easy but is not. Heather spent a lot of time last week trying to figure it out, but neither of us is sure we are doing it right. So ‘just in case’, I went to Staples this afternoon to buy a new 1 terabyte external hard drive to back things up on ‘earth’ in case the ‘cloud’ fails. I have backed things up on hard drives for years, but all of mine were full and photos from the last couple of years needed to be backed up. I will continue with the computer issues tomorrow.

My summer neighbor Andrew contacted me mid-day asking me to go to his house and do a few things. They have decided to rent the house for short-term stays through a vacation rental company, and they had just found out that the first renters were arriving this afternoon. There were just a few personal things he wanted me to do before the vacation rental company came in to do the pre-rental cleaning. While there I realized that their backyard and patio needed a leaf clean-up before the renters arrived and yard work is not done by the vacation rental folks. Sam and Ollie do Andrew’s yard work and were planning to do the storm clean-up over the next couple of weeks, but the unexpected advent of renters changed that. The boys weren’t available, so I used my leaf blower to blow the leaves into the yard from the patio. I then picked up as many of the larger twigs and branches blown off the trees during the storm as I could in a short period of time. It looked presentable.

It is raining out again tonight, but I am truly hoping for sunshine tomorrow. We have seen the sun peek through the clouds a few times yesterday and today, but basically it has been overcast and rainy, punctuated by an extreme storm, since Monday. Enough!

2021 Life Logs, Day 300: Clobbered by a Nor’easter

2021 Life Logs, Day 300: Clobbered by a Nor’easter
Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Weather: Wind Gusts to 55 mph, Rain; High Temp 55, Low Temp 49 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Forty-seven years ago today Mark and I were married on a beautiful day in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Today was not a beautiful day on Cape Cod. Starting last night around 10 pm, the winds picked up and the rain continued. Throughout the night I could hear the howling winds and when I got up to go outside with Shadow at about 7:30 am I was greeted by a big, downed tree in my side yard, leaves and branches littering the ground, and wind gusts up to 55 mph according to Weather Underground on my phone. Those gusts were so strong that small tree branches were flying through the air. We were out and in quickly to then discover that there was no electricity and there still is not. School was cancelled today, and many small businesses were closed. This is like an extreme winter blizzard without the snow.

My neighbor Andrew almost lost his boat when the boards holding the line cleats ripped up in the wind. He saw this happening and was able to run out to catch the lines. A little later in the morning, I helped him move the boat to his neighbor’s dock. But when I was outside that time, I saw that all of my outside furniture was blown hither and yon. As a result of the nasty weather, Shadow and I have spent most of our day curled up on the love seat by the front window where I can see to read. I went to the basement and got out my winter comforter for tonight and a heavy afghan to cuddle under. With the afghan over me and Shadow on top of that, I have been nice and toasty.

Heather and gang are among the lucky ones who have electricity, so they had Shadow and I over for dinner tonight. I am still at their house and will use their internet to send this log. But I have to say I was taken aback on the way here. There are no stoplights working in Falmouth, Aubuchon Hardware was close, Walmart was closed, and the two main grocery stores are running on emergency power. The latest update from the power company is that that it could be multiple days before we have power restored. Shadow and I will go home to sleep under that winter comforter tonight and assess just how comfortable we might be for multiple days without electricity. There is no school again tomorrow, so I will head this way in the morning to unload my freezer contents into Heather and Jed’s freezer and see what I can do with the boys as both Heather and Jed have busy work days tomorrow.

2021 Life Logs, Day 244: Happy Anniversary to Good Friends

2021 Life Logs, Day 244: Happy Anniversary to Good Friends
Date: Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Weather: Overcast with Rain; High Temp 72, Low Temp 65 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This first day of September was overcast with periods of light rain until 10 pm tonight when it started raining with a vengeance. There is even thunder and lightening to make it more dramatic. But at least the worst of the rain held off until after a gathering of my dining-in group here at the cottage.
I had hoped for a sunny afternoon and had asked everyone to come at 4:30 so we could enjoy an outside summer dinner cooked on the grill. I’ve known for days that it was supposed to rain today, but I kept watching the weather and believed the heavy rain would begin after our dinner. But when it started drizzling this morning, I decided to grill the food before people arrived and eat inside. When they arrived, however, it was not raining and everyone decided to sit outside to have drinks and the special appetizers contributed by Peter and Karen Baranowski. It was fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese on slices of baguette from the French bakery. Yum! The rain kept holding off, so we stayed outside for the delicious and beautiful salad brought by Bruce and Jane Woodin. Another yum. I figured we were pushing it, but the weather kept holding, so I served the marinated and grilled veggies, beef, and chicken on rice pilaf and the tasty corn casserole brought by Terry and Olivia outside as well. As we were finishing the dinner, it was starting to rain just a little and I saw a mosquito, so it was time to go inside for dessert.

On August 28, Olivia and Terry White celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. Then on August 29, Peter and Karen Baranowski celebrated their 50th. Midge Frieswyk volunteered to bring a special cake for dessert to honor the special occasion. Whole Foods makes a Chantilly cake that is really delicious, so Midge brought that to celebrate the anniversaries. It was a wonderful evening with friends.

2021 Life Logs, Day 238: Work and Play

2021 Life Logs, Day 238: Work and Play
Date: Thursday, August 26, 2021
Weather: Sunny; High Temp 87, Low Temp 71 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Jonah and Ollie did the work today and I did the playing. I picked J & O up at 10 am and they came to my house to do yard work. Jonah mowed Shirley’s yard while Ollie used the weed whacker to do some trimming in my yard. They had planned to switch jobs so Ollie could mow Andrew’s yard, but we ran out of time. I needed to get Ollie home so he could go to a playdate at Mullen Hall. This is his new school and he really only knows two kids who go there. One of the two is Simon who lives in his neighborhood. Today Simon and Ollie were going to play on the school grounds. Jonah had a playdate with his friend Kaiden. So, after dropping Ollie off, I took Jonah to Kaiden’s on my way to Midge Frieswyk’s. There I joined friends for lunch on Midge’s deck where I played away the afternoon eating good food and talking with friends. It was a great way to spend a beautiful summer afternoon.