"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Just another day at Muskeg Manor

My friends in Valdez are going to laugh at this.  I can hear them now.

Yesterday.  Clear and cold.

When I went to bed last night, it was 12 below zero with a brilliantly clear sky.  An almost full moon reflecting off the snow provided enough light that, if I had been so inclined, I could have gone skiing.  At 12 below, I was not so inclined.  Instead, I inclined myself in my little nest in the living room with a nice fire in the wood stove.

When I got up this morning, something felt different.

It was.  Very different.

Twenty above zero--32 degrees warmer--and snowing.  I donned my outdoor gear and waded out to the end of the driveway where I commenced a fruitless search for the orange plastic sack containing the daily newspaper.

Here's a question for you:  How does the newspaper delivery guy expect anyone to find a newspaper if he throws it on the ground during a snowstorm?

This is the end of my driveway as seen over the hood of my truck as I approach the highway.   The yellow thing is a newspaper tube, where my newspaper NEVER is placed.

I have no answer for that, but I do have a counter response.  If I can't find it, I call it in as "missed delivery."  I've heard it costs the guy $5 for every missed delivery.  For that I feel badly, but with a yellow newspaper tube at the end of my drive, I don't feel "home delivery" should involve a treasure hunt.

Early afternoon I decided to go to the post office and the dump so I donned all that winter gear again (a fleece jacket and low waterproof boots) and headed out in four-wheel drive.

 In downtown Moose Pass, the telephone guys were knocking snow off the phone lines before they sagged low enough to be caught by a passing truck.  This has happened a couple times in the last month that I know about.

Then I headed five miles south to the dump, which really isn't a dump but a site that holds large roll-off containers in which we place our garbage for transfer to a facility in Soldotna.

Trail River, just an open spot through the middle.
No place for the snowplows to put the snow.
Love it when the trees are bent like this.

Then, mission accomplished, I headed for home and snow-related chores.

Specfically, finish shoveling the snow off the wood shed roof before it falls down.  I'd previously done the front half.  In the rear, which you can't see from this angle, the snow was four feet deep.  As I worked, I could hear avalanches coming down the mountains, but couldn't see them because it was snowing.

Oh.  Did I fail to mention it was snowing?

Chores all done (actually, I was done before the chores were), I retreated to the house and that aforementioned cozy nest in the living room and a fire in the wood stove.

I am not shoveling the snow off my decks this year.
I figure I can enjoy the new rails from the inside.
Now, this is the reason my friends in Valdez (pronounced val-DEEZ) will laugh:  they have already gotten two feet of snow and are expecting lots more from this storm.  Valdez AVERAGES more than 300 inches of snow every year, with the record being 560 inches.

The 14 inches that fell here today would be considered a "dusting" in Valdez.

 Oh, hey.  Need some more of this?  C'mon, snuggle up.


  1. Love the new search button. Have you given it a test drive? I know it operates with some kind of word-recognition process, but to me it's nothing less than magical. Now, when I want to go look at that polar bear's twitching nose again, it's easy-peasy to find.

  2. Sly. I listened to the late-night tv on your cozy fire video. First belly laugh of the morning.

  3. I love that you were done before your chores!!! Very clever and obviously accurate.

    Wow...all that snow. Our winter here in southern WI is very unwinterlike. We've had basically no snow and temps have been much warmer than usual. Today it's 50 degrees.

    I enjoyed going about with only a thin top and a sweater this afternoon. I'm not sharing this to make you feel bad, only to share the craziness and unpredictability of weather no matter where you live.

    Your mailman does need to mend his ways! When you're snowed in it's at least nice to be able to "find" your mail!!!

  4. yeah u'r rite....you did get a LITTLE snow. But we do envy your nice cozy fire. B & B

  5. You mention .. no place for the snow plows to put the snow .. so they end up building a wall along the edge of the road .. a friend LOST both parents when an oncoming car got crosswise and they could not avoid it because of the snow WALLS on the sides of the road .. I can't imagine how they felt .. KNOWING they were going to 'take a direct front on HIT' .. and did and died .. whew.. there is another side to the winter isn't there ..

  6. Thank you for the video of the snow. Now you're going to laugh at me, but I'm longing for snow down here in Portland (she said, as sunlight streamed through her window). I enjoyed the fire video, also. :-)