The Winter Cabin (February 14)

Back home, it wasn’t long until the snows came again, and this was a big one, the biggest one of the season, and some say the biggest they’ve seen in a long while! Through our windows on Thursday, we watched the snow falling fast, small cold flakes, thick and whirling, and in the morning, we had a solid 18-inches, at least, with wonderful drifts and piles everywhere!

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Friday was sunny, and the snow was thick and fluffy and fun, great for snow angels, but too light for packing…

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We could see that our resident porcupine was undeterred by the snow, plowing his methodical way from the forest to our house to make his rounds and sniff about…

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Vivi has his methods pretty much figured out 🙂

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And, we set about our first shoveling efforts, each of us armed with a shovel…or something 🙂

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We have a lovely long driveway, and there was no place we absolutely had to be, so our main effort was to dig out the mailbox so that we could receive any deliveries. The deep furrow from the snowplows made it a large job, but it was a beautiful day for shoveling, and we soon had a shoveled walkway and a cleared pull-in, and the kids were free to tunnel and burrow and play again, until they wore themselves out and wandered inside rosy-cheeked and soaking wet!

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Oh, no, what happened here? It looks like a case of the dreaded shrinks! The dreaded shrinks are a Roald Dahl creation, a terrible, incurable disease, in which you shrink day-by-day until all that remains of you are a pile of clothes and a pair of shoes…And it looks like Vivi caught it! 🙂

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On Saturday, the snow came again, light but steady, and we ventured out in the afternoon to re-clear and widen our paths…This was an especially beautiful snow, coming down in individual, perfectly-formed flakes, which were too light to settle into the mounds, but stacked on-edge, one atop another, in intricate formations along the drifts, too beautiful to imagine, and a wonder to observe!

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These snowy days are a balance of work and play, shoveling (which is hard work) followed by digging (which, somehow, is just fun!) Snow caves…

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…snow burrows…

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…snow tunnels…

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…snow messages…

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…snow couches!

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We also realized that we better tap a few maple trees, so that we would be ready when the weather changes and the temperatures rise and the sap starts to flow!

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Of course, Saturday night, another storm came in, and on Sunday morning, our buckets were full – of snow!

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Sunday was lovely, and we relaxed and played and enjoyed the snow…And in the afternoon, Joe and I wandered out and decided to shovel for as long as we felt like it…We ended up finishing the driveway, and it was a great feeling to know that we could just get in the truck and head out now, whenever we were ready. We figured Monday would be a good day to drive into town and pick up some groceries and such, and we were glad to be ready for it!

Of course, Monday dawned with a blizzard, and as we watched through breakfast, it didn’t let up one bit! We realized that, if we were going to get out at all, we better get to shoveling! It was a fast-falling snow, but not uncomfortable to work in, not too cold, and not too windy, and we steadfastly plowed the fluffy snow back out of the driveway that we had just-yesterday completely cleared…As we worked, we decided that this would be the last time we would shovel the whole driveway this winter – once we got the truck out once, we would park near the road-end, and have a long walkway with a short driveway! 🙂 I kept hearing an “ancient proverb” in my head – It’s easier to shovel a walkway than a driveway. It’s easier to shovel a walkway than a driveway. Too funny.

We methodically worked down the drive, and every so often, Joe would pull the truck up the cleared space, inching down the driveway. We soon realized that it was coming down about as fast as we were shoveling. After clearing a foot of snow halfway down the driveway, we could see that about 2 inches had accumulated where we started! Yikes! And then, as we neared the end of the driveway, we faced the most daunting task of all – the plow-mountain!

Shoveling the snow on your driveway is one thing – it’s light and fluffy, and you scoop it off to each side, and with five people working, it goes along at a good pace. At the end, though, you face the 5-foot-high pile created by a plow portioning the road’s-worth of snow into your entrance, and it’s a heavy wall, sandy and compacted and thick, and you have to throw it up and over the 5-foot-high pile on each side. It’s daunting. When you start, you think you’ll never be able to do it, but the mountain does eventually yield to the steady efforts of five shovels…Of course, knowing that it will return with the next round of the plow is one of the most mentally taxing parts, and I did have to keep reminding myself that the plow drivers are just doing their jobs keeping the roads clear, and don’t actually bring snow from other counties just to pile it up in our driveway, as it might sometimes seem! 🙂

In my head, as I set about this large task with my sore muscles, I said to the Lord, “I’m not sure how many times I can shovel this driveway.” And He said, “As many times as you need to.” Ha! It’s so simple, isn’t it? What a great reminder! We don’t shovel because we have to go somewhere, we shovel because that’s the work that the Lord has for us at this moment. On God’s schedule, there are days to work and days to rest, there are tasks for each day, and they unfold precisely when He means for them to unfold. It doesn’t matter how long the driveway or how high the pile, if we’re doing the Lord’s work, the Lord’s work will get done, and we will always be able to do it! Shoveling is very good spiritual training 🙂

So, after three hours of shoveling, we did break through in time to get on the road to the grocery store……and it was still a blizzard! The two stores nearest us were closed for the weather, and so we continued on into the grocery store in Machias. 

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There were only a handful of us on the road, but everything went smoothly, and we enjoyed the triumphant feeling of having achieved our objective, through hard work and perseverance, returning with lots of yummy groceries and the delicious privilege of curling up by a warm fire after a good day’s work! 

Monday morning was crystal clear…

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…and crystal-sparkly everywhere!

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The porcupine, undeterred as always, had made his way in from the forest once again…One of these days, we will get the timing right, and have the chance to watch him from our windows as he blazes this adorable trail!

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It was another day of shoveling and playing, (shoveling a long walkway and a short driveway!), always a bit easier when the sun is shining and heavy clouds and snow-plows are not busily erasing the evidence of your great efforts!

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And soon enough, it was time to tell the kids, “Well done!”, and take them inside and hang them up to dry 🙂

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…and arrange them by the fire, after a good day’s work and play!

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