Monday, January 4, 2010


The first winter in a new place is always interesting and educational, especially if you live in New England where the season can get....hairy, so to speak. I spent the last 10 winters in one house and was well used to the effects of snow storms there, and really knew what to expect when a storm was about to blow through. I am completely unprepared this year.
I knew there were going to be differences, the old house sat on the side of a ridge toward the bottom and in a valley. The wind almost always blew down Willoughby gap and hit the north side of the house. The paved road we lived on was always ten times worse than the road it connected with, 3 miles away in town. The electricity, although it had gotten much better over the years, was bound to go out at least twice during the winter months...more in the summer. See? I was comfortable. I knew what was going to happen, how it was going to happen and what I needed to do to deal with it. I am SO out of my comfort zone right now. This house sits up on the top of a hill....a big hill...a big, windy hill. The wind, whips up the side of said hill at about a billion miles per hour and hits the corner of our house right where Lyli and Tryphon's bedroom's are. The road into town only gets northern exposure...did I mention we live on top of a hill? You know what the first sign you come to at the bottom of the hill is? "Salt Reduction Area". That means, loosely :"we're not wasting salt on this hill, so you'd better have 4 wheel drive and studded tires or really REALLY enjoy scary amusement type rides". I think the state workers all have a really twisted sense of humor.
The electricity seems to be ok though, we've had one flicker the entire time we've been here and that's all. Which is really great considering we only have baseboard hot water for if the electricity goes out..we're out of luck until we can manage to get a wood stove somewhere in here.
The wind is what gets me. I told Mike we should really think about investing in a wind mill up here, I think we'd be able to power our entire house with one. The wind is constant. This past weekend the New England states experienced a Nor' Easter...basically a storm front stalled in the waters off of Maine and another system came in behind it..and the winds started turning in a north easterly direction...pulling moisture off of the ocean and dumping it in northern New England. My in-laws got about 2 feet of snow...we were expecting about the same, the bottom of the hill probably got that much. We got snow..but we also got the winds. gusts up to 50 mph. My yard has the beach..or the desert. There are areas in my yard that have less than an inch of snow, but that corner of the house that gets hammered by the wind...has a huge snow dune....and you can see the places that the wind comes through the trees and over the stone wall because there are long drifts that look like waves extending out from there and into my driveway. Its weird. I guess I've just never lived anywhere where I've experienced this on such a huge scale. It makes me kinda miss the 2 feet of snow. Kinda. Ok, not really.
So all of this makes me wonder how long it's going to take for me to get into my new comfort zone. A year? Two years? Five? And how many changes am I going to have to make for me to be comfortable...I know a 4wd vehicle is one change that needs to be made...and a wood stove for back up heat...Ah the excitement of getting that first year in a new place under your just never know what you're going to experience or figure out. Its an adventure!


Gayle said...

Personally, I find wind one of the worst elements to deal with. I can take my -30 temperatures, but when a biting wind is blasting you just can't get comfortable. I know I would rather have the 2ft. of snow! Hopefully, you find your comfort zone quickly and can enjoy your days to the fullest.

Kimberly said...

We are freezing down here in FL! I know that sounds lame, but our homes are set for extreme heat, not cold. We have a week of 30ยบ temps ahead of us. When you combine that with high humidity and surround yourself with ocean winds, it's quite a chilly experience! All of our citrus is about 90% ready, so crop losses will be great. Strawberries are at about 80% too! So we are all wearing multiple layers, trying to keep warm too! No snow, just lots of damp, cold nights here!