Driving up to the Red House for a long three-day weekend we were pleasantly surprised that 1) there was no snow which meant 2) we wouldn’t have to shovel to get into the house at 10:30 at night. While I’ve come to dislike driving in the dark and not being able to see the river on the way up, I particularly abhor not being able to see the meadow until the following morning.
What we weren’t expecting that evening however was to find that both the hot and cold water pipes leading up to the bathroom sink had frozen. Luckily, the bathtub was ok and we could still flush the toilet. But washing your hands or face? Had to be done in the bathtub. And brushing your teeth? Bathtub, too.
We were perplexed as to why those two pipes froze and I guess if I had to choose losing the bathroom sink over not being able to flush the toilet or take a shower, I’d lose the sink. What we couldn’t figure out though was where those frozen pipes were located. There was nothing that was dripping or broken in the basement, and while we don’t have the heat blasting in the house when we’re not there, the thermostat is set purposely so the pipes don’t freeze.
In the morning, I saw the meadow. It was nearly totally green with a few patches of leftover snow. I tried to turn on the bathroom sink and a slight trickle emerged. I ignored the water situation and instead turned my attention to the garden.
I was already thinking spring and what I would plant. Definitely lots of tomatoes and basil but perhaps some rosemary and a big sage bush, too. There would be flowers — sunflowers in particular along with perhaps some rose bushes. Since both my beans and peas had been prolific, those would be planted again, particularly since I saved and dried the pods from my last green bean crop. I knew my asparagus would be coming up early in the spring and this time I would make sure I snapped all the asparagus I could before it grew into its ugly hedge-state. I also wanted to plant some potatoes and onions and squash in the fall since I saw zero returns on any of those veggies last year. (I think I simply just planted them at the wrong time.)
Of course by the time I had finished planning (in my head at least) everything that I wanted to plant in the spring, it started to snow. Soon the meadow was a field of white and by evening we saw deer prints. At this point (nearly 24 hours later), the pipes in the upstairs bathroom sink had thawed and we had running water!
In the morning we had about 3 inches of white stuff. Before I shoveled I decided I was going to make a batch of pancakes. Luckily I had a griddle that doubled as a Raclette maker so I poured out the batter onto the grill and made what looked like “pinstriped” silver dollar pancakes. They were tasty, albeit a tad cold by the time the entire batch was cooked up.
Lynn has this strange habit of having to put a fried egg on top of his pancakes so that the whole thing (pancakes and egg) can be smothered in maple syrup. It’s pretty disgusting to look at, yet he claims it’s delicious. I’ve tried for many years to break what I consider a nasty habit of him eating pancakes in this fashion but I have failed. See, here’s his egg all ready to go!
Since I knew he needed a lot of energy to finish putting up all the moulding in one of the rooms, I just let it be. Especially since I knew he was also determined before the day was done to rip out one of the last pieces of linoleum that was left in one of the hallways, too.
Underneath this mess was a wood floor that was in fair to poor condition but we figured with some sanding and/or poly it would be just fine.
Meanwhile while he was tackling this, I decided to go out and shovel. Luckily the snow was fluffy not wet (since our driveway is nearly 60 feet long, if not more), and I got through the task fairly quickly.
And while the snow looked quite bucolic and the temperature hadn’t dropped yet (it would do so later in the evening), I kept looking up at the house and hoping that one of those really sharp looking icicles wasn’t going to fall on my head or poke an eye out!
And yes, I shoveled in my gardening boots…am I rushing spring? Absolutely.