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January 20, 2012: Albino Dust Storm

So what is now like here is what it’s like (almost in reverse) when there are dust or sand storms. White, loose snow is whirling through the air – could be gritty, loose sand. There’s always something to be thankful about, although it seems to me being thankful is often an afterthought.

We who live here knew this was coming – because it has come before, that is the drifting, the blowing, the ocean-like rumbling that never seems to cease, the whoooo whooo sounds. And at our place, there is the ripping sound of the wind generator. Sounds like a superhuman is tearing sheet metal apart.

The sounds are intangible. The stuff one has to deal with directly are the tangibles. As of tonight, the front porch steps are embedded in hard, firm, snow. And down below, in the walkway that parallels the stairs, a huge, triangle shaped mound. I tried stepping on it, and fell in up to my knees. Then I clambered to one side, and was able to walk over it. Mountaineers, I thought, they must have snow sense. One would know where to step.

The tunnel trail leading from our cabin to the driveway is now filled in with snow. It’s a solid walkway. Step to the side of it, and down you go, up to your knees. After, curses fill the windy air.

The animals are, to varying degrees, bothered by all this. Goats: Peaches thinks that she’s died and gone straight to hell. She figures that someone lied to her—she thought hell was hot. Ranger and Rover have accepted the fact that the times in between feedings are just to be endured. Chickens: Just want spring to be here. Dogs: Doggie Hotel and Separation Anxiety run outside when they’re invited to go out – they ahem do their business and then rush back in the house. A sign of age; I think, a few years back, they would have braved the elements for a longer period of time. The horses: They seem to be energized by this, although I know they’d really like it to be warm, so that they might lie down and rest their weary legs. Especially Signy, who is carrying an increasingly heavier load.

Pete and I are doing well – we’re keeping things going, trying our best to be upbeat. Maybe it’s a good thing – in the midst of adversity we are at our best. It’s when we are idle, or looking for the next thing to do that we snipe. Our one entertainment source is the weather radio. I am very much aware that the weather can’t be predicted with any degree of accuracy. But it’s fun to speculate. Sometimes they get it right.

If I’d had my druthers, I’d have stayed home this morning. And I would have passed judgment on others, saying that their going out was crazy. Today, I was the one who was crazy. I had to go to town to meet with my friend Dawn, and then to school to teach my class. Then this evening we had to go to a friend’s birthday dinner. Pete drove our big truck. We left, did what had to do, and came home. The wind’s still blowing. It’s a good thing that change is a constant. I could not imagine what it would be like, the knowledge that the wind might continue to blow like this forever. Like anything else, I guess we’d adapt.

Next: 46. 1/21/12: Teaching again