I used to know better than to let myself get caught on top of Slade Mountain when the weather turns bad. I forgot that wisdom last Saturday and banged up my car in a whiteout. Then the weather took a turn for the worse.
We've had at least a foot of snow and possibly fourteen inches over the course of two days. I've been out of work all week and likely will only make it in on Friday if then. As I begin writing this on Wednesday night the forecast is for -29. In my forty one years it’s never been that cold in Kentucky. And that's the actual forecasted temp and not the windchill.
When we lived in Colorado I remember windchills in the double digits but rarely temperatures that low. It was consistently colder and we got more snow more often, but for Kentucky this is a pretty big deal. Conditions are difficult at best. I’m finishing up this post on Friday morning at work. It took an hour of nursing a car battery in the warm kitchen, then carefully cranking the car with the hood up trying to soak up the dawn sun before we had ignition.
My mustache froze. The inside of my nostrils froze. My toes froze inside my wool socks and waterproof boots. My resolve has frozen in place. I’ve found it hard to move forward from the pit we found ourselves in on Sunday night. I’m still not ready to go into details about our break from Joe and the Rugged Red. Eventually I will tell the story, but not when he might use my words against me.
Monday the office closed. I cross country skied up and down the Creek. Tuesday was worse conditions but we were only on a delay. I sulked, skied, and burned up a vacation day.
Wednesday we were closed again. I skied a third day and tried to write…tried not to kill the cooped up dogs or yell at the stir crazy kids. Thursday was only a delay again despite an insane forecast. The surviving car (faithful Forester Gump!) started, but then failed a restart test. I didn’t want to get stranded in Lexington so I stayed home.
This morning I was able to get the car going, get myself going, and make it in to the office for a completely unproductive day. There’s no point in being here. There’s no sense of purpose in me today of all days.
I had tried to sell my Yamacraw registration to Terry, but he can’t get the day off. So I guess I’ll go forward and do my best to finish. I’ll keep training as much as I can. Hopefully the weather will break and the miles will start to fall behind me. If not at least I’ll have a nice souvenir t-shirt for my efforts.
Wednesday I did try to get out and go to work. Initially we were only on a delay. I was two miles from home when Mandy called to tell me they had closed. I would have done a happy dance, but I didn’t want to wreck Gump into the river. Since I was already out I decided to swing by the grocery store and pick up stuff to make milk sandwiches.
On Sunday my wife had the forethought to go ahead and stock up on a week’s worth of food. And even if I hadn’t restocked on milk and bread on Wednesday we would have been fine, but it was nice to beef up the pantry just a tad considering the 2015 Snowpocalypse was showing no end in sight. Today we’ve been frantically trying to track down some kind of space heater. There’s nary one to be found anywhere in the state. Except…
Yeah, I found a shelf full of them. Surprise, surprise; daddy knows where to get the goods!
I also bought some propane for the camp stove. All that food won’t do us much good if the ‘lectric goes out. Yeah, even though the worst of the cold might be behind us, there’s a good chance the heavy wet 3-6 inches they’re forecasting in the near future might take out some lines.
We’ve resolved that by next winter the woodstove will be moved back into the house from the shed. Resilience is so close at hand.
So whatever you do, Dear Readers, keep warm and soldier on.