Only the calendar noted the difference when autumn slipped and slid into winter.
This winter and past autumn ground me down. I gave up trying to do anything out-of-doors.
Some winters have been mild and dry enough to work outside every now and then. But, this year, even though we had a few pleasant days, the soil reminded me of chocolate pudding -- too wet to disturb.
From reading the newspaper, watching television weather reports and predictions, and reading posts written by bloggers all over the world, it appeared that weather everywhere was cruel.
I have lost track of all that happened here. Yesterday the electrical service was off again. This time it took only a few hours to get it back on; it was only a blown fuse on our transformer. It has been one thing after another all winter: rain, snow, ice, sleet, hail, some of these, or all of the above almost everyday.
Let me see if I can remember some of the events:
In January, our state (Kentucky, U.S.A.) had a whopper of an ice storm. It was rated as one of the state's worst natural disasters in history -- second only to the New Madrid Fault earthquake of Dec. 16, 1811 through Feb. 7, 1812 with aftershocks felt through 1817. At that time the huge Mississippi River flowed backwards, large lakes were formed, and there was much destruction through several states, as well as, western Kentucky.
This time the whole state was affected.
The county we live in had endured the severe ice storm of 2003, so, we were not damaged as badly as the rest of the state. In February 2003 the freakish storm seemed to cover only our county. It cleaned us out viciously. Our house was without electrical service 5 days which was very little compared to others. This time, we were without only 3 days, but across the state over a million people were without power, and many were without for months and months.
Today, some areas are still without their cable television service because the cable lines are down. Linemen workers are doing the best they can, but it is such a large, and mostly rural, area to cover. Houses and yards in those areas are sprouting satellite dishes.
Sadly, there were 36 deaths and several homes lost, some by fires, all related to the devastating storm.
Soon afterward, before there could be recovery, there was a wind storm that added to the power outages and much damage to property and trees. Workers had to go back and rework some areas where they had gotten the service back to running, and do it all over again.
I watched 40 ft. tall trees bend over to ninety degree angles or more. Eighty miles from here in Louisville, Kentucky, which is on the large Ohio River, the wind was measured at gale force and Tropical Storm wind speeds. The next measure would be hurricane speed. I kept telling everyone at Crocker Croft: "And, we still have March to go through, yet."
Kentucky is scheduled to receive over five million dollars in Federal funding to help pay for ice storm recovery. Portions of the funds will be released periodically as the state shows continued need. An estimated 503 temporary jobs will be formed. Temporary workers who have no permanent job will be trained. There is need for workers to do jobs such as: cleanup, demolition, repair, renovation and reconstruction of destroyed public structures and facilities in affected communities, plus repair of homes of economically disadvantaged elderly and disabled people.
Since then, we have had one more wind storm, but less severe and not as long lasting. Ice: we have had again, but less severe. In between were all the other things listed above. What a winter! Mud, mud, mud puts me in sympathy with our northern neighbors who go through a 'Mud Season'. No way to work outside.
Here is further explanation as to why there have been long spaces of time between my posts.
In September I reminded my physician that we were headed into winter, that I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), and I didn't want to suffer as much as last winter. As a result of one of my posts about the problem I had learned of a new medication for it. So, another bottle was added to my medicine cabinet. I hate taking medicines, there are always side effects.
Well, the combination of my meds had me drifting about like a zombie with a head feeling like a block of wood, sleeping too much, and with not a original creative thought for months. I could not write! Now, after some tweaks of my medications, I am trying. I also have another handicap: I am a non-screener. I have read that people are screeners (and can screen out distractions), or non-screeners. We non-screeners are jerked around by every little sound, motion, and visuals.
Husband/Best Friend/Chief Photographer and I are retired, which means we are both home all day every day. I do not have a quiet place to withdraw for writing, much less, a poet's ivory tower; so that makes it almost impossible for me to write. I snatch a few minutes here and a few there when the TV is off. The flow of thought contains rapids.
So, what have I done most of that time? I have read. Blog after blog, and book after book, after book I have read. I will share that with you next time.