Paint Schoodic

Join Carol L. Douglas at beautiful Acadia National Park, August 6-11, 2017. More details here!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blizzard


Whose woods these are I think I know.  
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here  
To watch his woods fill up with snow. 

I knew weather was coming, but I had no choice but to stay; yesterday I had appointments all day in mid-coast Maine. When I finished at dusk, there was little choice but to hunker down and ride it out.

I think of blizzards as time-out-of-time: they’re an extra Sunday in the week, unannounced holidays. Trouble is, I don’t want a holiday; I want to get home and continue on the groove I’ve made for myself.

I’m an old hand at blizzards, but this is my first experience with one off-the-grid. Like many Maine houses, this one has knee walls on the second floor. My little bed is tucked up under the rafters. We’re heating with wood, which makes my bed the warmest place in the house. My window is single-pane, and it’s allowing gouts of cold air to blow in. But it’s not on the west wall, and the wind is from the west. As I write this, it is increasing in ferocity. There are wind chimes somewhere outside , and their frantic atonal melodies rise in counterpoint to the clunk of the tie-downs on the wood pile and the whistle of the wind.

Thank you to my daughter for the texting gloves. They're making this bearable. Later I'll see if they work as watercoloring gloves.
Mainers are accustomed to bad weather and they seem inclined to keep deep pantries. There was none of that rush for bread, milk and eggs at the local Hannaford when I stopped. However, there was a line of trucks waiting for gas; seems like everyone has a generator here.

Since I took this photo, the far tree line has vanished in the snow.

My family has blown all over the map in this storm—some in Rochester, one in Washington, DC, some in Albany. The governor of New York has suggested that everyone stay home; one wag responded, “He’s probably not self-employed, then.” (Mr. Cuomo is left-footed on the subject of snow, which is no surprise seeing as he hails from Queens. But his advice is usually greeted with derision up in the Snow Belt.)

Blowing, drifting snow...
Six inches of snow in Rochester overnight so it’s business as usual. Doesn’t matter, though; the Mass Pike is closed, and the New York State Thruway is kinda-sorta closed. I’m stuck here for the duration.

The wood pile.
We have water, we have firewood, we have food. There’s no chance of the power being knocked out, because there isn’t power anyway. So my Prius slumbers by the side of a dirt road that won’t be plowed for hours if at all. I think I will curl up and spend the day reading.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,  
But I have promises to keep,  
And miles to go before I sleep,  
And miles to go before I sleep.
(from Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening)

Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in Maine in 2015 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops! Download a brochure here.

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