Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Storms and stress

Sometimes homesteading is just frustrating, surprising, grinding work.  A week of nearly continuous snow spurred on our most recent bouts, as ice suffused the land and drained our muscles:
  • Snowshoeing up to repower the broadband transmitter in the dark was the hardest yet.  The snowpack had reformed, erasing our hard-won trail.  Then several days' worth of weather froze the top layer, added more on top of that, then froze the newest stratum.  A 30 minute tromp became a 2 hour saga of seemingly endless baby steps.  Each snowshoe-step forward required a forceful near-kick downwards to punch out something to stand on.  Each step had to abut the previous one, and each show not catch the other.
  • Broadband has stuttered, thanks to multiple coverings of snow-ice-snow on multiple antenna.  (This ain't part of the always-on broadband concept)
  • And our car got stuck, again, at the end of the driveway, in a mix of spinning wheels, slick surfaces, and constricting snowbanks.  It took a while to free ourselves, with Owain hauling buckets of ashes (stored in the basement, from our wood-burning stove); me digging around each tire, then hacking back a snowbank; Gwynneth howling about being late for school; Ceredwyn using her fine driving skills to twitch the Saturn back and forth, sideways, and eventually out onto... a very slick, snow-covered road.
All of these pains are immersed in wintry beauty, every step of the way.  We knew about these things when we got into homesteading.  But here I want to pause to... sit a spell, rest my back, and acknowledge the drang that comes with the sturm.

2 comments:

nmckeand said...

It sounds like an ordeal! But part of homesteading is the mindset that you can solve your own problems -- which you did! I can understand wanting to take a break after all that, though!

I am curious about your broadband. Have you talked about what you have, how it is set up? I guess I need to go back and re-read. We frequently talk of moving to the country (which in New Mexico is a few blocks outside of town!) but internet is always something that stops us.

Bryan's workshop blog said...

Nancy, thank you for the nice words. I appreciate 'em.

We have a fairly unusual broadband setup. The cable and telecom companies won't come near our house, and until recently wouldn't even touch the town. So we set up a Ripton community co-op, and a couple of residents built a network:
http://riptonbroadband.com/
It's a great story.