Saturday, January 5, 2008

Storm of the century -- not quite!

Camp Connell, CA -- The weatherman had been warning us all week, and the regional television stations were bordering on hysteria. A REALLY big series of storms was heading our way from the Gulf of Alaska.

As of this writing, the third storm in the series is passing over us, and we are okay. Just fine, in fact.

Friends (from Virginia, Mexico, Maryland and California) had contacted us, concerned for our safety.

Rest assured, dear friends, we are surviving quite well. We have cut back on our driving activity, as the roads have been pretty messy, but we have lots of wood stacked, extra food stored, and our trusty all-wheel-drive Subaru full of gas and supplied with a winter emergency kit in the back (sleeping bag, flares, chains, wool hats and granola bars). And I watched two John Wayne movies (Rio Bravo and The Searchers), to toughen me up.

We were SO prepared.

And now, in the almost aftermath of the big storms, Pat is baking cookies, I am eating cookies and messing with the computer and making sure the birds have extra seed scattered on the snow. All is well. We may take a walk later.

The major concession we made to the storms so far was to sleep downstairs last night, in what is normally our guest room. With high winds predicted during the night, and living in a house surrounded by 150-foot-tall trees, we decided that would be a good idea. A few years ago one of these big trees fell through a nearby cabin and neatly sliced it in half. We can't control that, but we can be cautious in high winds.

It was very interesting yesterday to stand by the sliding glass doors and watch the tree tops sway wildly back and forth while the snow swirled around.

So far the blizzard did not turn out to be a blizzard. The first two storms brought gusty winds, but not extreme, and about a foot of new snow. The mountain passes above us got more -- three or four feet -- but nowhere near the ten feet predicted. So far.

It is currently snowing hard again, naturally, just after the snowplow came through to clean out the lane. And right after I shoveled a walkway. We expect another foot or two by morning.

So we may have to skip church if the roads are bad, but by Monday I think I need to drive UP the mountain to the ski resort and see if my aging knees have one more season in them.

It beats shoveling snow.

And then I can respond appropriately to my friends in Mexico who keep sending me pictures of them strolling on the beach, and at an open-air tango party in LaManzanilla.

Meanwhile, here I am testing our camp stove -- just in case.

For a picture of what is happening weather-wise in our neighborhood, check this link:

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