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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Winter in Colorado - by Bruce

Below are two photo's of Carol shoveling to get to the wood shed just to get wood. We woke up this morning to 14-15" of snow. For all our friends back East and up North who think their winter has been rough, this snow here is cause for concern but not alarm. Snow is coming down at the rate of an inch per hour, and the National Weather forecast predicts snow for the next two days with the bulk of the storm Monday and Tuesday. We just cleared 18" of snow yesterday. So this could end up dumping in a single storm 5 or more feet on us. We have dealt with it in years past and will deal with it this time too.

Here is what we can count on. The power will go out soon which is why I'm writing this now. With the loss of power, nothing works including the water pump. We can anticipate that the power will be off for 5 days or longer. No phones, no internet, no lights, no toilet flush, no tap water, no block heater for the tractor to start, no heat in the basement to keep the water pipes from freezing, no, no, no etc. Especially no super bowl or TV or news. When the Kindle reader battery runs down, no way to charge it up.

Cook with our propane stove and try not to open the freezer or refrigerator unless totally necessary.

No need to clear the snow because it may be days before the snow removal equipment can be put into operation. So we just sit back, read, play with the dogs, shovel where we can and wait it out. Not unusual for us at all and the only time we get alarmed is when it gets over 5' deep.

The below two photo's show the snow still coming down. We now have enough on the ground to completely cover my 'beware of global warming' sign. The bottom photo is the deck right after it has been shoveled off so the birds could be fed. It is also wise to keep less than 18' on the deck when the snow is heavy like this one is so the deck doesn't collapse or incur damage from the weight of the snow.

So we have now shoveled the deck, the board walk, a path to the woodshed, the steps, an area for the dogs to go potty and it is almost time to attend on line church. Hopefully the electricity will stay on long enough for worship time. So if you don't hear from us for a few days or longer, don't worry, we are just hunkered down waiting for the power to be restored. Unfortunately the power lines over the mountains are above ground and sometimes the utility crews have to rent or borrow a snow cat just to get to the area to fix the lines. The best scenario would be that the power remains on and doesn't go out but that would be a first. We consider this normal and expected each year, but if this happened in the city, they would be declaring it a disaster, putting a cute name on it, and calling out the National Guard. We just consider it a chance to catch up on our reading, rest and do some serious shoveling. I forgot to mention that the temperature outside is 14 degrees and the wind is blowing. Need to go brush my teeth and clean up while I can, but wanted others to see how we cope with the worst Mother Nature throws at us.


Barbara said...

Hey Bruce: it's magnificently beautiful to look questioning that. But my question to you is now that you and Carol are no longer "teenagers" why would you chose to live in the wilderness when you can be without power for five days or more? How would you get out in an emergency situation? I'm afraid my aching bones couldn't do all that physical work that you and Carol do! God bless you both for maintaining your youthful "glow!"

Carol said...

The 5 day thing happened only once and it happened to be when Bruce was the end of April! LOL!

This life style has kept us in great shape and should we have an emergency, it would be an "oh well" situation. We have discussed this many times and figure we would take things as they we do! Probably a Pollyann-ish way to look at things but so far, so good. :)+

Bruce said...

Good question Barbara. Let me see, we love it here because we have done all the work ourselves, the air is pure, the water pure, the strenuous living is tough but healthy. Yes my joints and bones ache, and sometimes I hardly move without pain in numerous locations but Bayer Back and Body is a great help. Because it is healthy living it allows us to function well beyond our years and what would be normal.
As I look out the window and see the snow piling up at over an inch an hour I wonder when it will end. The fact that we have to work hard to just survive here is what conditions us and enables us to live here. It is not a form of living that would suit those who demand that everything be done for them. We just happen to like it and if we have an emergency and can't call or get out, then we will just have to deal with it as it occurs. An attorney friend once asked me that same question and my reply then was we would either live or die. If it was the later we would die living our lifestyle and in the most beautiful place ever. That was not in my hands anyway and is in God's hands so I trust Him completely and what will be will be. I just take it one day at a time and when I get bored I stop and count my blessings. I think my answer is the same today. I'd rather die here than in a city with tubes plugged into me, smelly air, treated water, and people around me who act like they care when in reality they don't. What will be will be. I hope that answers your question. For me it is just a matter of choice and my choice is to live and die my dream.

Pat said...

YIKES!!! I’m not a good “cope-r” so it’s good we didn’t retire out there with you. However, I would love to come visit, but that would be a summertime event! Hope this is the “exception to the rule,” and that your power stays on. I don’t know how you cope with all this…

Your toilets wouldn’t flush with buckets of water from melted snow dumped in the tank? Is there some sort of electrical pump needed to flush?

I love the snow covering your “beware of global warming” sign…. Hah hah hah … I think the pendulum has swung back to “ice age.”

Stay warm and safe… Much love to you both… Pat

Bruce said...

We'd love to have you come visit Pat. Bring Dave along too. He's been here already. The summer is a good time because you could see all the wildlife including the bears. They are not available now.
Being snow bound with someone you love is not that bad really... We actually keep extra emergency water under the house we can use it to flush with, but have to tote it up two gallons at a time. We also have a porta potty in the camper we can bring up.
Melting snow is a long and tedious job. 10-11" of snow equals one inch of water. 6 gal. to flush a toilet, so melting snow for one flush could be an all day + job. I'd rather read a book. Love you guys too.. You may be right about the ice age, that huge wall of blue ice moving down the mountain could be the initial sigh. I thought it was convenient if we wanted to throw a party. Enough ice there to fill many drinks. Our power is still on so that is a good sign, but three more days of storm to go.

Ron and Thelma said...

Why don't you get a little generator so at least you can get the tractor started and run a little lights

Bruce said...

We used to have a generator but it wasn't used enough to warrant keeping it serviced and ready so we sold it. Today it is 10 degrees out and the wind is blowing 30-40 MPH, and all that snow that wasn't cleared yesterday is getting hard packed and drifting into nice big piles. Glad we don't have anywhere to go.