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.


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:
It's a great story.