Thursday, February 26, 2015

Salt and Preppers

Send us some relief Spring, please!
Winter is still grinding us down.  There's still more snow on the ground than we usually get in a single hillbilly winter.  I feel like I'm living in a Fargo-esque dream.  We season our meals with affective disorders.  We've survived a lapse in garbage pickup, threats of power outages, water shortages, short tempers, stir crazies, crazed fosters, and the theft of time in general.
I don't know why, but winter puts me in an apocalyptic mood.  The urge to hoard, scavenge, and shoot marauders grows with each inch of snow and each downward plunge of the thermometer.  I must confess the prospect of being snowed in some mountain cabin appeals to me.  Maybe it's my inherent desire for peace and solitude that welcomes a protracted sentence of isolation.  Maybe I really like the idea of hoarding, scavenging, and marauder murder.
I see others out running on the snow.  I have a recent history with ground ice, so I'm leery of getting out myself.  But now it’s been too long.  I'm far behind and need miles, miles, miles.  I got in those three good days of skiing when the snow first fell.  We've gotten out to the gym three days since last I ran.  So all is not lost.  But I've so much ground to gain back.  That seems like the theme all around. 
Anyway, the snow is slowly melting.  I'm back to work where I've got lost ground to cover too.  Things haven't completely sunk in with the race.  I'm still doing my best not to look that one in the eye.  And things really haven't sunk in with my impending 50k trail race either.  I don't have a greasy sick ball of fear in the pit of my soul yet.  We're still too far out.  Give it a month.
I keep pondering the distinct similarities between harsh winter and apocalypse.  In the truest sense the past week was telling.  People were out of water for a day or more, and their unpreparedness was revealed.  The threat of losing power revealed—again—the widespread dependence of so many of us on a stable and consistent power grid.  When the threat of losing power, and as a result life sustaining heat, became palpable then all of the space heaters in the free world were snatched up.  Loitering garbage lay piled under undisturbed snow as the week ended with no promise of removal. 
So then we were confronted with questions like: what do we do if they don't pick up the garbage two weeks in a row?  How do we keep the chickens warm if the power goes out? (We currently warm them with a heat lamp, the clear option seemed to be in a pot)  How long will the water be off and should we begin seriously melting snow?
Mud-brown grass shows through in ugly patches all over the place.  The snow is melting.  We might be coming ‘round from the dark side of the moon finally.  Some of our questions ultimately demanded answers while others simply lived in conversations around the kitchen table as an electric heater warmed our backsides.  I only burned through a single one pound bottle of propane and that was mostly to warm the bathroom in the mornings as we showered. 
So many of those questions that the average doomsday prepper takes for granted have gone unanswered in the Chainring household.  But then, we have been talking for a few months about putting the woodstove back in the house.  It’s going to cost a little.  We’ve resolved to have that taken care of by next winter as it’s likely that the winter of 2015 has spent its wad.  I want to better address the issue of water storage and treatment.  In the Colorado epoch of our family history I considered building a charcoal filter to treat water.  I may look into that once again just to familiarize myself with the feasibility and technicalities.
Today I brought my running clothes and shoes to work in hopes of whirling around the Arboretum at lunch.  We’ll see.  I presume the paths there will be clear, though I have no evidence to support my assumption.  I also forgot my gloves and fleece headband.  Oh thee well.
I’m feeling lost without my camera.  It might be a good thing I didn’t have it during the Snowmageddon.  I would have been strongly drawn to the woods to take photos, and not the mundane woods behind my house, but, in fact, the stunning and magnificent woods of the Red River Gorge.  And that’s how I crashed up my car to begin with. 
I need a fat bike.  If I hadn’t wrecked my car I might have had the coin to get one.

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