Monday, January 31, 2011

The Calm Before The Storm

The barn in the rain
The weather radio just went off. Actually, it's gone off three times this afternoon. Winter Storm Warning from now until Wednesday. Also a Winter Weather Advisory. They're predicting up to an inch of ice followed by a half a foot of snow followed by winds and blizzard conditions. While we've been here for some freezing rain and freezing drizzle, this will be our first proper ice storm. I'm not exactly looking forward to it. The weather service is saying that travel will be impossible tomorrow and warning us to prepare for prolonged power outages. This morning the weather was quiet but it's now been raining for a few hours. Actually, quite heavy rain. I took the picture to the left about an hour ago. The sound of the rain on the tin roof of the barn was wonderful. Kerouac was outside with me as I took some pictures, and then I couldn't find him. I didn't have him on leash because I figured with the rain falling, he'd stay close by my side. And he had been until I was inside the barn taking pictures. So I began to tromp through the soggy corn fields, calling his name, hoping he hadn't gone too far. I turned around after about five minutes and went inside to put gloves on, and who's sitting on the couch in the Florida Room? A very wet Kerouac. He must have turned around and gone inside the house while I was taking pictures. I was relived, for sure! In preparation for this ice and snow storm, I baked bread. Our oven runs high, and the bread was done before I'd expected it. The crust looks very crusty. Rich will be going to the stores while he is in town. I brought in the little propane grill we've got so it doesn't get iced over. If the power goes out, we'll be cooking on it!
Two loaves of Pullman Sandwich Bread
I've been writing about life on the farm for the most part, but wanted to share a little bit about life in this small town. Thursday morning I took Rich into town. He was leaving for a conference in Alabama and we wanted to have breakfast before he left. We left the house at ten til eight and went to Arby's. I have always loved their potato cakes! We had breakfast inside, and it was such a great experience! There were eight other folks having breakfast, all of them retired. Chatting over coffee, joking with each other, talking about folks they knew driving down Lincoln Avenue. Rich & I were right at home there. After breakfast, I took Rich to campus where he met up with the grad students he would be traveling with. I then ran a few errands. I pulled into our driveway at 9 a.m., loving the fact that I'd been able to drive into town, have a leisurely breakfast and run errands and be home in an hour and ten minutes! The fact that there is very little traffic, very short lines (if at all) and most everyone in town is so friendly is really making us spoiled!
The birdfeeder Dick made for us
A few weeks ago, one of Rich's colleagues asked if I would be interested in running the lights for the Charleston Community Theater's production of "Tuesdays With Morrie". Having no other commitments, I did it. And it was so much fun! I met a great group of people, and really began to feel a part of the Charleston community. I'll be doing the lights for their next show, "Driving Miss Daisy" in March... so come on down and see the show!
Two weeks ago, while helping our neighbor, Alvin, shovel the snow in our driveway, another neighbor, Dick, pulled up on his tractor. He was giving Alvin a bird feeder he'd made. Dick said that he'd checked out the bird feeder I'd put up in the front yard, and was glad to see we were helping out the birds. He then asked if I'd like one of the bird feeders. He and his wife brought it over Friday afternoon. It was cold and windy, but sunny. I'd just gotten back from taking the dogs to the pond and back, when the doorbell rang, scaring me senseless. Dick & Gail were at the door, bearing gifts. He had made a birdfeeder and brought over a batch of what he calls Bird Peanut Butter, along with the recipe. You slather the holes in the feeder with a cooked combination of lard, peanut butter, flour and corn meal. He said it will attract some birds that don't like to eat the seeds from the other feeder we've got. Especially woodpeckers and cardinals, he said. Excellent. I am continually amazed at how nice our neighbors are. After Dick and Gail left (they'd walked over, to enjoy the sunshine) I realized how rude I was: I hadn't invited them in. Rich said that they probably think we've got something to hide since we didn't invite them in. Next time they come by, I promise to invite them in for a drink.

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