Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Taste of Pocky-Clips

Got the Jeep running yesterday, around 2. Went to J&H's, didn't so much shovel shit as pry it off the ground in sheets and chunks. Worked for an hour and a half and only finished Paolo's stall. Four heavy wagon-loads, mostly ice and mud, feet sliding on the packed snow. Fun. Gotta go back today.

New Years Eve, by delightful irony the night I got back here, it hit 21 below zero. J says he talked to this old guy in town (runs a falling-down welldigging company, and was recently elected Mayor. Mormon, of course) who says that in 1990 it hit 30 below once. But even that didn't drag on like this. It snowed a week ago, it's been bright sunshine most days since, and I'm still up to my ass in snow. This is my fifth winter here and I've shivered through some very uncomfortable cold snaps but nothing that hung on like this one. Checked the forecast yesterday and it was just depressing.

J lent me a movie I haven't seen a hundred times before – that was probably worth the trip right there even if I didn't need money and water. Last night I had two pleasant hours of watching Matt Damon kick peoples' asses. Not a movie I'd normally cross the street to watch, but who cares. If the money ever really becomes worthless, as people have been predicting any minute now for as long as I remember, we will use the damndest things for trade goods.

I no longer pretend I'm negative or neutral on the topic of whether Ghost should sleep under my blankets, it's more like “Get in here.” Gotta stretch my propane, because this is going on to ridiculous lengths. It's not bad, I've still got a bottle and a half in reserve, but no point being foolish. Little Bear's the only one who kinda likes the cold, though oddly Click doesn't really seem to mind all that much. Ghost and I are not being stoic – this just sucks.

Still haven't turned the water back on, because I don't really need it and definitely don't need more bad news. We turned off the pump and bled the pressure before we left almost two weeks ago, before the snap, so the pipes are probably fine. But J had stories of busted pipes all over the neighborhood. He put his foot through the gypsum board of his brand-new ceiling while stuffing new insulation around newly-thawed pipes in his attic. Delighted H no end – she has taken this opportunity to go to the city with Paolo. And anyway, even if the pipes are intact they're sure to have ice plugs here and there. The only part that would probably work is the Meadow House because we definitely drained that – easy enough to do because it's halfway down a slope – and I'm not turning it on until we get a thaw. I filled my empty water bottles at J's yesterday. Brought all the bottles into the Lair even though there really isn't room, because otherwise they'll freeze. They might anyway. This morning I need to wash stump socks, so naturally the clouds have rolled in and unless they part the laundry will just freeze on the line. Was thinking about begging a turn on D&L's washing machine, but by all accounts they still don't have running water either. Nobody's got an automatic dryer, of course, because hey! Desert! I'm gonna find that guy Murphy and just kick the living hell out of him.

Dumbledore was right, by the way – the best things in life are thick wool socks. For which I daily bless GL and Claire.

In a few months this will seem funny. I can't wait.


MamaLiberty said...

That is just incredible, Joel. It is 34 degrees right now in NE Wyoming, for pity sake. How in hell is it getting so cold there?

My mother was right.

Murphy was an optimist.

Big Wooly said...

Global Warming ain't workin' out to well for ya, huh?

Anonymous said...

Back in the days of wooden ships and iron men I went through Navy boot camp during the dead of winter just outside Chicago. We did our laundry by hand and hung it outside to dry. After a day or two we would take it off of the clothesline and vigorously shake out the ice crystals. When we brought it inside and it warmed up it was still a little damp but usable (for us rough & tough he-men, anyway :-)).

Joel said...

Global warming. Huh.

If I ever meet AlGore, I'll definitely be wanting to know what happened to my share.

suek said...

If I have your approximate location correct, you're about to be granted a reprieve.

Our weather has been cold as well - not as cold as yours, but cold for us. It's been in the high 30s and low 40s for about the last 5 days - but yesterday AM, I donned my heavy jacket and went out to a temperature of about 68*. The day actually got too warm to wear the heavy jacket! You should be getting a break today, I'm guessing (Friday) - but who knows! It does what it wants to!