before the snow falls

Around here, people have long ass lists around their houses entitled, “Before the Snow Falls.” We had one last year the size of Moby Dick, but this year’s has heft too.

We didn’t have one of these in Carlton. Bryan probably had a handful of things he wanted to get done in fall, but it didn’t require becoming “The List.” I didn’t, until this fall, realize that others too have this list. When we went over to Heather and Tim’s to help them press cider a month or two back, I saw their list and realized we are not alone.

Well, the forecast is calling for this:


Now, that means the list, which we (though mostly Bryan, to be fair) have been diligently working on, has hit rush mode. Will it all get done? No. Honestly, look at the size of this list. It won’t even all fit in a photo!


Now, I started writing this on Sunday and now it’s Monday night and we’re in the thick of things. We managed to do it again with the freaking propane. So, when spring hit, we got a bigger propane tank delivered and filled it up. Now we’ve been using that since our return in August and have intentionally been trying to use some up so that we could get it filled just before winter hit. I have been saying since October: ” Don’t you think we should schedule the propane delivery? It could come any day now, you know.” Now, reasonably, Bryan has responded, “No, we have to wait until the last possible second so that a full tank will get us through winter.” Got it. Now we are getting 12-16 inches tonight and tomorrow and it was late to hit the forecast. So, the plan is to park at the bottom of the driveway, walk up, and Bryan is going to shovel the entire 1/4 mile driveway by hand because otherwise it will get packed down and the delivery truck won’t be able to get up here. Classic.

In other news, last week we closed up most of the windows. I find this act utterly depressing and I tried to argue that it was unnecessary, even though given this propane bit, it probably is. I had dreamt of open windows this winter, with light pouring in to warm us. I imagined reading my Bread Loaf books in March in a sunspot. False. While we aren’t just surviving this year, we still can’t live that luxuriously because, after all, we live in a yurt and the windows are a piece of plastic.


Since Allison, Kelly, and Jason visited, we have had a grouse visitor quite regularly. He must be eating the gravel driveway up because we always see him making his way slowly across the driveway and we have to wait to drive.

Bryan has been steadfastly putting away more wood for winter. He often comes home from school to cut, split and stack wood. This weekend he added a kindling rack to the porch, brought wheelbarrow loads into the yurt, and created two large stacks inside. It’s good to see us so prepared for winter in that area because last year at this time, we had approximately no wood. We’re adequately prepped there! Then Sunday night, I took a couple hours and cleared the hillsides of shit tons (that’s the technical term) of kindling before the big snow comes in and covers it. I dragged logs, branches, twigs, and other miscellany wood materials out of the woods and onto the driveway, all while talking to Katie on speaker phone. I know, I’m impressive. When Bryan came home from studying at school, he was happy. Then when we had to go out after dinner in the dark and throw it all in the truck. He was floored by how much I had gotten. We filled the truck twice. I guess we’ll have enough kindling for a while.


DSC_0164 IMG_1357

Now, I have hit my limit for photos on this site until I figure out how to solve that, but soon you’ll see photos of the porch, which is now almost entirely plasticed. That’s now a word. We covered the screen windows with plastic Saturday, until we ran out of plastic and none of the freaking hardware stores carry clear plastic. Honestly. We covered most of it anyway, and it’s pretty cocoon like in there. Sadly, when we got home from school (on very slippery roads), it was already dark in the yurt. Ack. DSC_0170

Windows covered for winter, check.

Windows covered for winter, check.

Preparing to plastic.

Preparing to plastic.

Since I got the news about the propane, I’m a little bit upset that I taught the kids the snow dance today, but in honor of Jess, screw it. We’ll figure it out like we always do, and if I can get a November 11th snow day, I’ll take it!

In other news, we have some very exciting visitors coming up. For Thanksgiving, Katie will be joining us for the holiday! This is the best freaking news. And then, as if to make certain that it is a Thanksgiving to remember, my mom flies in on Friday after the holiday to visit the yurt and do a wolf talk for my students! Hurrah!

2 thoughts on “before the snow falls

  1. Deb Mom Mann says:

    Ohl Meryl, I love your sense of humor and the fact that you continue to add words to the English vocabulary. You should publish your own Circular Lodgic dictionary for Yoopers!!! Really, wouldn’t that be hilarious and useful for the rest of us to learn…like a napastie would be a nasty tasting pastie.

    And I am so relieved to see your wood shack filled with wood, I was quite worried last year but kept my worries in my own head! Yipee, we’ll be warm if not lighted by sunlight. That is why we go outside more! At least You Yoopers get more sunshine than us moles in Ithaca NY… Love you both, and Puppies and Xena too…


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