We survived our first winter in the cabin! Over the last few weeks, the sun has been spilling its glorious light and warmth all over the valley. Generally, we have heavy snow in January and February, and even March, but this year looks so different. The snow is slowly melting. It still freezes most nights, but the days are absolutely gorgeous. And the best news is that the long term forecasts look promising. Hello, spring!
When we decided to winter over in our tiny, rustic house, I was a little anxious. We would be back to hauling water. Our road can be treacherous, even with studded snow tires. The freezing weather outside meant that our tiny house would feel a lot tinier.
There were a few rough days, but overall it was okay.
One night the temperature got into the single digits, and we didn’t set the thermostat high enough to compensate. It was 45 degrees inside the cabin when I woke up that morning. Snow sliding off the roof damaged the chimney to the water heater. Our first generator finally kicked the bucket. There were a couple of weeks when we were in the clouds, and spring seemed a long way off.
On an especially windy Sunday, I was the first to discover that a large tree had fallen across the county road. After Rick brought down our chainsaws, it didn’t take long to clear. The best parts were that I got to use my new chainsaw (thank you, Santa!) and catch up with some neighbors. That was a fun and surprising curveball.
Then there were the times when driving down our road felt more like navigating a bobsled track. Some falling rocks damaged a small piece of my car and scuffed a little paint. All in, it was a mild winter.
The local farmers are a little nervous about the early spring.
The buds on the cherry trees are about three weeks early. Like the farmers, I can also admit that I haven’t wanted to get too excited just in case we got another long, hard frost or a big dump of snow. But the birds and bugs are back, and they seem eager.
Around here, spring means that our road is that delightful combination of ice, pools of water, and mud. You can’t leave your car windows rolled down, or you could end up with mud on your face. In the afternoon, in flat areas where the ice has mostly melted away, it smells like pond water.
Rick reinstalled the sunshade, made his first pass with the tractor on our driveway, and he is considering when we can reconnect our water system. I can hardly wait to start using the outdoor shower again and enjoy hot water straight out of the tap.
Rick and our neighbor will whip the road back into shape with their tractors, shovels, and rakes. Then the real excitement starts. Building on the new house can begin again. Hello, lumber trucks and subcontractors!
The new house will have all of the modern conveniences like running water and electricity all year long. The generators and solar system will be supplemental and backups instead of our primary power.
As we wait just a little longer for all of the remaining ice to melt, my spring to-do list is growing. This is just a sample.
- Pack up the long johns and snow boots
- Finish the first draft of the new book
- Submit the well water for testing
- Clean the ceiling fan
- Decide on new appliances and order them
- Schedule consultations for well pressure pump thingy
- Put up the wasp traps and hummingbird feeders
- Mark the location of the new garden and greenhouse
How was your winter?
What’s on your to-do list for spring? I would love to hear about it on Facebook. I won’t be able to plant in my tiny garden for a little while still. If you want to make me jealous, post pictures of your spring seedlings.