Thanks to all those who've been leaving such wonderful comments the last few days! I truly appreciate that you are taking the time to respond, and the thought that went in to such meaningful words!
With last year's storms still fresh in my mind, compounded by this years long term forecasts for the season, and what seems like an earlier arrival of the heavy rains, I'm experiencing feelings of more urgency in my preparations for the winter ahead.
Every year Pa and Nathan spend hours working on the diversion ditches alongside the driveway. Fortunately, the rainy season is preceded by the usual wood gathering and processing, so their muscles have been prepared for the hard work. Yes, it happens every year, and we expect it, but this year it seems the heavier, longer lasting rains have come earlier than usual. The diversion ditch, and the holding pond have already become a challenge, the water flow exceeding the carefully constructed borders, and blowing out, resulting in the erosion producing streams flowing freely down our drive, which makes me a bit nervous about what may be in store for us as the season progresses.
While Pa and Nathan diligently work with their shovels, as the rain pounds down on them, Lindsay and I are warm and dry in the house, working on other seasonal chores. We knit and crochet. We work in the kitchen, creating baked goods, warm, comforting meals, and of course, cocoa mix, for those chilly winter days to come.
In addition to those things which keep our minds and bodies busy this time of year, I find myself wondering what I may need to add to my grocery list. Considering the early onslaught of heavy rain, and the expected warmer, wetter weather this year, I feel a need to stock up a bit more, and earlier. Who knows when the floods will begin, and how bad they may become in our area this year? I would be surprised if 101 did not become impassable at least once, if not more often this year. Even if Pa and Nathan manage to keep our driveway in a state which would allow us to navigate it, we may be cut off from our weekly shopping trips, perhaps for longer than a week at a time.
I also wonder if this may be the year our electric bill will be based on an average for a time. UPS does not deliver to our home as it is. Fortunately, living in a smaller community, we are able to arrange to pick our packages up at their office, so long as we are provided with tracking #s. That arrangement doesn't work for others though, such as the meter reader. Like us, he has equipped himself with a pickup, and tires which allow him access to rougher road conditions than many, so he may be able to make it up. I rather hope so, as the kids enjoy his visits. I'm just hoping it doesn't get so bad that we can't make it up and down our rather lengthy driveway ourselves! Although none of us would really mind the walk if it came to that, we really don't relish thought of leaving our truck at the bottom of the drive, on the road, out of our sight, as others in our area have found it necessary to do in years past. We've been lucky so far in that respect. Keeping our fingers crossed that our luck holds out.
Although I miss being able to hang my clothes outside to dry this time of year, the wood stove does a fine job of drying our clothing. We're grateful for our truck, and for the wood gleaning opportunities in the area this year, so we can heat our home, and dry our clothes in an affordable manner. Now, if it would just stop raining (pouring!) long enough for us to make a few more trips to add to our wood pile!
If, like us, Mother Nature has brought a bounty of precipitation your way, rejoice! It's a blessing to be able to bring our own form of sunshine into our families lives! Bake a loaf of homemade bread, and enjoy the resulting aroma(not to mention the taste!). Make some yogurt, and turn it into a yummy treat. Create something really cool from items you might normally toss in the trash. Find a good book, gather your family about, and read it out loud. Enjoy the opportunity for togetherness the season has provided!
A happy weekend to all!