Posted by: David | December 15, 2008

Ice Not Nice

Wow. Unplanned time off. How great is that? Time for blogging … The big ice storm hit in the wee hours of last Thursday morning and turned out to be pretty terrible. Worse than the one ten years ago in that it was so widespread. We were awakended around 2:30 by what was probably one of the half-dozen large pine branches that crash landed around our house, and noticed that the power had gone out. Uh-oh. The freezing rain had begun early in the evening so this was not really unexpected but for its magnitude. It took a lot of Friday before it was known how bad it really was. 400,000 people (in New Hampshire) lost their electricity. In the winter that’s a serious problem.

Four days later the power is still off at the college where I work. Can’t do computer stuff (that’s my job- computer stuff) when there’s no power. Can’t keep all the students warm in their dorms either, so they got to start their breaks early. I bet they were thrilled. And I get a few unexpected days off. Glad we bought a generator back in 1998 and that we have plenty of firewood. And that we live on a state route. That got us reconnected to the grid by Sunday evening.

The birch trees really bend right over. They cannot take the weight of the ice.

Finding gasoline for the generator was a problem. Power was out almost everywhere, and gas pumps are electrical. Had to go a few towns north and east and wait in line to fill my gas cans. We ran the generator off and on, to keep the fridge and freezer cold and the water tank filled. The ice is so beautiful to look at with a bright sun or moon in the sky, but it’s the absolute worst kind of winter precipitation going. Much better when it freezes before it hits the ground.

The now solitary horse stays close to the barn. He’s not a fan of the ice either.

Luckily that through this disaster the roads not blocked by fallen trees were in good shape. On Saturday we had a graduation ceremony to attend. Our daughter will soon join the nursing profession at a nearby hospital, having finished a concentrated program. She was in the top of her class and now has 2 bachelors degrees! We are so proud of you sweetie!

Sure you’d probably rather see pix of the graduate, but I didn’t do such a good job getting the shot.

Here’s my daughter getting her degree. From the back.

I was told that I failed at this because I was an idiot. My only possible reply: DUH!? At least I am able to find gasoline and make fire. Fire good! AND my daughter is now a NURSE!!



  1. Congrats to your daughter on the graduation, and to you for the fire. πŸ˜‰

    Thank you Peter and thanks for your comment. Both make me proud, but mostly the daughter, since even a cave man can make fire, right?

  2. Congratulations on your daughter! It’s such a wonderful feeling when they accomplish something like this. I try and get that across to my kids, that every time they go out and conquer the world I feel like I played a little part in that and I live through them. This is great, you deserve to be proud!

    Your ice photos are so beautiful, and the WordPress snow drifting across them just enhances the whole thing.

    Do you think you’ll ever get a second horse? Our vet, who happens to be one of Buck’s close friends (and he’s also a horse vet as well as small animals), advised us to get a second dog when we had only one. He said it would stop the first dog from obsessing over us, which he did night and day. The second dog really did the trick, he had a new buddy and he loved her. Are horses like that, or after the grieving he’s been through would he rather be alone?

    Thank you Wendy πŸ™‚ Yes it’s a wonderful thing all right. The pride is automatic, and that vicarious sense of accomplishment is like gravy. Or maybe icing on the cake. Or the cherry on top. You get the idea …

    Buddy, the remaining horse, actually is our daughter’s horse, and I hope that when she and her husband find a place they will take him. He actually seems to be doing pretty well on his own. I think he might be one of those Norwegian Bachelors that Garrison Keeler is always prattling on about. Course, I’m not the equestrian expert. But the girls say that he’s stopped “cribbing” (nervous biting/chewing on the barn and air gulping) since his stablemate’s passing. Anyway, I AM familiar with the companion animal theory and have TWO WORDS on that:

    No & NO!!

    I’m trying to talk my wife into “outgrowing” the horsey thing (she’s 50 now for crissakes!!) and maybe going back to an animal that is more economical. Sheep. We had sheep in the past. I don’t think I’m getting much traction here.

    It’s really snowing here this morning. Finally getting back to work after 5 days off. Glad you enjoyed the images. I’m sure you must miss the snow down there in El Paso, hmmm?

  3. I have just come back to life, thanks to an antibiotic. Your daughter would know all about that. Since I don’t have any children I had never thought how parents would be proud of their children’s achievements. I only tried to imagine, often and unsuccessfully, how parents see their darlings turn into depressed bums, as happens often here, where most kids have parents of extremely poor background (the civil war!) who now became fairly rich. Those parents can’t tell the kids what or how to study.

    However, I have noticed that if a plant is really happy, I feel as if I really knew the know how and I look at it 20 times a day.

    And if a plant looks really unhappy, it makes me feel like a predestined looser.

    Glad you’re feeling better. Thank you antibiotics. We are lucky parents whose children grow into happy and successful adulthoods, even luckier when they stay close by. Good that you and your plants relate so comprehensively. I thought you had a cat too … “nobody’s cat”?

  4. I think I know what birches look like. And that they bend

    “When I see birches bent to left and right
    I like to think some boy’s been riding them..”

    or similar, can’t remember, as I can’t read poetry in English, don’t get it.

    Yes the birches are quite bendy. And easily recognized with their white bark. They grow fast, but are vulnerable to extremes of weather such as this ice storm.

    I can’t read much poetry in English either, and don’t get it, unless the imagery is sufficiently visual.

  5. Thank you for your rendition of the storm. Ours was equally dram-iful or beaut-matic. Diamond encrusted trees snapping with a frightening boom! We still do not have full power. The promise is tomorrow (Friday) morning. We have been 6 nights in local hotels and today was a certain nephew’s 16th birthday locked in a luxurious prison with his parents! The good news is our woodstove is now up and running! The bad news is just about everything. This was horrendous! And in all of it, the loveliest nurse rises from the crackled ice and wood chips!! As A the college coed would say: woot! woot!

    No your experience was way more dramatic than ours. The generator purchased after the 1998 ice storm has made every power failure since (and there have been many) feel much less painful. I honestly feel for nephew on his 16th. Damn! And thanks for the woot!

  6. I wish I could wax poetic about the snow we just had. I can sum up the reason I’m not all that happy with the little buggers thusly:

    5PM-8PM last night
    5AM-10AM today

    The only non-outside/non-shoveling time was to travel from one shovel location to another. And they were mere minutes. My ears didn’t even get warm.

    Yeah, nothing but swears are whacking around my head.

    Congrats to your daughter! My girlfriend is a nurse. It’s a tough job. I wish her well with it.

    I know the feeling. And have uttered all the swears myself repeatedly. And yet the snow still falls. It’s been snowing for about 2 days now. I changed the oil in the snowblower. I must sacrifice a chicken to St. Ariens, patron saint of snowblowers.

    πŸ™‚ Thanks on behalf of my daughter. She has to take the licensing exam and is considering how best to begin her nursing career.

  7. I like to look at it like this. You didn’t ‘fail’ in getting the shot. You just didn’t get the one others were looking for.

    I think your daughter is gorgeous, so it must be a great picture! Beautiful black hair, nice fit body (well the gown does make things hard to determine, but seems that way to me), spread along a fairly decently tall frame (if one compares to the other fellow). So all in all, a beautiful young woman!

    Now I wouldn’t know if you were an idiot or not, since I have only recently discovered your blog, by way of Romi, who I discovered by way of someone else, and then by way of PamaJama, who I discovered by way of I can’t quite remember who!

    But I don’t have a blog, just read them. I figured out I am much too verbose to entice a decent crowd, and it would be one more thing to do on my list. This way, when I am taking a 15 minute ‘break’ I can meander and read about interesting aspects of fairly mature people. It does my heart good. Yes, there are a whole bunch of blogs I just have to avoid. Merry Christmas. Stay warm.

    Thanks for visiting Soapbox Diva and for leaving this interesting comment. On the merits of your comment I would imagine that you could EASILY entice a decent crowd, or even an indecent crowd without breaking a sweat.

    Thanks for looking. I’m sure my daughter is happy to read your appreciation of her beauty via posterior view.

    Nice to know that there are readers out there who benefit somehow from these meandering scribbles. Merry Christmas to you too. πŸ™‚

  8. Sheep are great. Lambs are born with little smiles on. They originated the Flash Mob as a kind of all-purpose comic relief. Mohair goats aren’t bad either.

    We have experienced the ovine comedy. We had the colostrum in the freezer and even raised a black bummer lamb named Elvis in our kitchen. I gotta find those pictures. He had some “issues” (probably why his mother rejected him) but managed to thrive for a few years with our special attention.

    No goats, thank you very much. πŸ™‚

  9. 1. Congratulations to your daughter!
    2. I love the picture of the horse.
    3. I don’t love ice storms.
    4. I hate ice storms.

    Thanks Allison. Ice storms suck, we agree on that! Thanks also for all the wonderful cookies over at your blog! I think if I say “Yum-O” Martha will be adequately upbraided. Though I’m sure that Martha would be very proud of your cookie works. πŸ˜€

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