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A Window On My World

This is not a daily blog.
Posts will be published on occasion and irregularly as I am able.
Some of these posts are from my web site The Garden At Crocker Croft.
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Friday, March 20, 2009

Long Paws Pause Winter Report

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.


Cait O'Connor said...

I am sorry that you have had such a bad winter, we did not get to hear about your ice storm over here.
It sounds as if you are a highly sensitive person, Have you read the Elaine Aron book on that subject? (I am one myself).

Barbee' said...

Thank you, Cait. I have not heard of her book, but now I will surely look for it. You remind me of the old quip: "It takes one to know one." You probably did not hear of our storm, because there were all kinds of storms (including fire storms) going on everywhere in the world, it seemed. I appreciate your visit. Smiles to you.

Kerri said...

Hello dear Barbee'. It's good to hear from you. Although we certainly heard of Kentucky's ice storm woes when they were happening, I didn't realize the severity of them. What an awful time your state has had.
I hope spring brings relief of your SAD symptoms and that you'll begin to feel your creative juices stirring again with the return of warmer weather.
Wishing you a happy first day of spring dear friend! And sending hugs and smiles :) xo

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Barbee, So glad to hear from you and sorry to learn of your ucky winter. Spring should make us all a little more cheerful.

joey said...

Spring thoughts are with you ... knowing the days are longer hopefully will help. May the sun shine upon you :)

JGH said...

Hi Barbee - I hope the longer days of spring and your garden perking up bring more smiles to you in the coming weeks. We also had some crazy ice storms.

I hadn't thought about things in terms of "screening". I also spend many days in an office with my husband - he's a CNN addict. Definitely distracting.

Balisha said...

Hi Barbee,
I read one of your posts before about your SAD problem, and felt that this winter must have been so hard on you... and others in your shoes. Hopefully we get through March and April without the storms...you've already had your share. It is hard for retired people to coexist inside during the winter. Some are hard of hearing (my hubbys problem) so the nonstop CNN and MSNBC can be very difficult for a person who "likes to be quiet" We just have to do the best we can and help each other out. I'm so glad that you and I had blogs to read. We see that we all have our share of things to muddle through. Well, Spring is here, my friend, and time for us to shake off the dust of winter and get our hands dirty....even if we can't do it all anymore...we can do some of it. Happy Spring!

Norvona Jackson said...

‘B,’ I feel like such a dud of a friend, not to have been there for you during your bad times, as you have been for me. I am truly sorry, and hope that Spring comes quickly, bring renewed spirits and a fresh stirring of hope to us all. Hang in there, friend, can’t wait to hear what you have been reading. Remember, as Cicero said: “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” :-)

Mariaberg said...

It is good that you have the books and blogs!

We also have had a "Mud Season" - but this winter has been very good to us here.
It is nice that you (me) can rest from doing garden works, because if you did it all year around I think I had found it boring and only a thing that I had to do and not like now I am doing it for fun!

I an happy and "really, really" in love my husband and my 3 girls are feeling very well (even if one feel down the stairs yesterday - all is good with her only a few bruise, if it had been me I had been half dead).

So I am happy!
Hope that I can bring you some happiness by writing this to you,

Barbee' said...

Kerri: What a sweet comment! Thank you. I kept following the weather reports of your area, too. Yes, I am already feeling better, because it is brighter weather and because I have tweaked my medications. Our local son and I enjoyed very much your photos of your cats getting up on the bird feeder. He used to live in the Albany area.

Deb: Already doing better, thank you. And, thanks for coming by with a comment.

Joey: We are having sunshine! That with all the good wishes sent my way is... It is working!

JGH: I think just about everyone had ice storms this year; and lots of snow, and floods, and fires, and tornadoes... woo, what a winter! In the first comment, Cait mentions a book about highly sensitive people. I bought a copy and it looks very interesting.

Balisha: Thank you for your lovely, personal, letter-type comment. Seems you and I have some things in common. In the yard, I don't know where to start -- it's pretty bad out there. Maybe I can find someone to help with the getting up and down tasks.

Norvona: You are not "a dud of a friend"! I kept hearing reports of Oklahoma weather, some pretty bad, and thought about you and wondered if you were OK. Spring IShere now, and today is very calm and sunny. Nice! I did not know about that quote of Cicero's, thank you! I love it. I may use it in a post, thanks to you.

Maria: How wonderful to hear from you. I am enjoying your friendly, newsy, personal letter-type comment. Oh, yes, I do enjoy the books and blogs! I don't always feel up to commenting, but sometimes I do. I am so happy that your winter was good to you this time. I suspect in a few months I will be wishing we had enough moisture to make mud. That is a good point about getting bored with it if we have too many months to garden, and I certainly have rested up. Yes, if we HAD to do it, that would take away some of the fun.

What a happy, delightful family! Hope your little daughter isn't too sore today. These young ones do seem to bounce up and out of it. I'm like you, I don't bounce any more and would probably break a bone in the process of falling down stairs. Don't even want to think about it. I do enjoy your photographs of your family. Thank you for visiting. Your happiness is contagious, thank you for sharing.