My alarm went off at 6:45 a.m. as it does every morning. I turned on the light and grabbed my phone to do my devotions. A few seconds later I realized it was still dark. Blaming it on the usual morning fog that fills my head, I reached for the light again. Nothing. I checked my phone. It was plugged in, but the charging light wasn’t on. The power was out.
I groaned and staggered to the window, bracing myself for more winter woes. That’s when I heard the first gun shot. At least I thought it was a gun shot. I also thought to myself “Who in their right mind would be out hunting on a morning like this?” Everything was covered in thick, heavy ice. It was otherworldly.
The advantage of living at Wyebrook is that the kitchen has a backup generator. The cottage didn’t have power, but we still got our morning coffee. Steve couldn’t make it in because the roads were too bad so Ryan and I set about getting everyone fed and situated. We drove up to check on the chickens and I realized the loud cracks I’d been hearing all morning weren’t gunshots at all. They were tree limbs snapping under the weight of all the ice and the pressure of the wind.
We headed down to feed the steers only to find our path blocked by several such limbs that had most unfortunately taken out sections of the fence. Ryan headed back to the shop to get the chainsaw while I started clearing the smaller branches. He came back and set about clearing the debris while I went to get a head count of the steers. The last thing we needed was for someone to be pinned under a tree in the woods. Thankfully all 70 steers came wandering out of the woods to see what all the fuss was about and where their breakfast was. After that I walked the perimeter of the steer pasture to check for other downed trees.
Once the steers were fed we headed back to clear the driveway. Ryan and Dean worked on that while Laurel (Ryan’s wife) and I got the calves set up with water tanks. The barn area where the calves currently live has water that runs constantly (so it never freezes), but without power the pump that keeps it flowing wasn’t working. We brought up 2 of the big takes we use in the summer and filled them up.
After that we called it a day. It was too dangerous to be out in the woods as trees were still coming down every few minutes and there wasn’t anything else we could do in the icy mess. Instead I helped Lexi hang the meat we’d picked up yesterday, wandered around with my camera (pictures coming soon), and then drove around aimlessly for a bit to enjoy the warmth of my car and to charge my phone.
Lexi, Amelia and I planned to cook dinner in the commercial kitchen and then head over to Dean’s to spend the night since that side of the farm got power back around 6:00. As we were cooking, I noticed my phone was connected to wifi which meant the power was back! We returned to the cottage to eat and cranked up the heat.
This was our punishment for complaining about all the snow. I’ll take snow over freezing rain any day. Today I really missed Brooklyn.
Oh, and Chicken-dog says “hi.”