Shelter from the Storm

 

After I posted my last blog (You’re So Far Away) on Tuesday night, we had a much heavier snowfall here and the electricity went off. We woke up on Wednesday morning to a beautiful winter wonderland. It was magical. I grabbed my camera and dashed outside to take some photographs. As the day wore on it became increasingly colder. With no power, our only source of heat was the fire in the lounge and by nightfall it was freezing in the rest of the house. (Note to self: always have a plentiful supply of firewood on hand and buy a gas heater).

bringing in the wood

bringing in the wood

Anyway, we dragged a mattress in front of the fire and spent the first of three uncomfortable nights on the floor of the lounge. It was so bitterly cold that night that the snow on our roof froze, which meant that it took ages to melt (3 days in fact) and as it melted, icy cold water dripped down the sides of our house , effectively turning it into an ice box.

Of course, with no power to drive our pump, we also had no water. Fortunately we have a water tank that collects the runoff from our garage roof which we used for washing and filling cisterns. And we were able to boil snow on the gas hob for drinking.

it takes a lot of snow to make a little water

it takes a lot of snow to make a little water

We were completely snowed in for 3 days, cell phones died and we started to feel very isolated. (Another note to self: must invest in a 4-wheel drive vehicle). And the worst part of it all was that we missed a lot of the Olympics. By Saturday, the snow had melted sufficiently for us to get the car out and Peter went into Howick to charge his phone and get more firewood, drinking water and batteries for Edna’s “wireless” (as she calls her radio). It was such a huge relief to get connected with the world again. Also by Saturday it had started to warm up a bit and the incessant drip, drip, drip of icy water past the windows and doors had stopped. It was warm enough to sleep in our bedroom again, albeit wearing several layers of clothing. We were also able to move my mum in with us as she was battling a bit with not having any electricity.

We were without power for 5 days. And I did hear Peter muttering under his breath from time to time something about the madness of having sold a perfectly good house in Durban in exchange for this. Well, as Nietzsche famously said:

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

And better prepared, hopefully.

By the way Nietzsche also said: “Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.” Perhaps Peter will be agreeing with that.

our pond frozen for the first time

our pond frozen for the first time

no way out

no way out

my poor allotment, everything smashed

my poor allotment, everything smashed

Edna's wee house

Edna’s wee house

the driveway

the driveway

waiting for feeding time

waiting for feeding time

as the snow starts to melt, the queleas huddle together for warmth in the sun

as the snow starts to melt, the queleas huddle together for warmth in the sun

I will never tire of this view of the Giant

I will never tire of this view of the Giant

DSC_0211_edited-1

nor will I tire of sunsets over the ‘Berg

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Shelter from the Storm

  1. Adam Rice says:

    Absolutely amazing, and beautiful photos. It sounds like you had quite an experience, I expect a bit alarming at the time but more exciting and memorable as a result. Clearly we need to come to the Berg for real snow.

  2. John devlin says:

    Stunning pics.Hope you had a stock of Old Brown to see you through.

  3. Wendy Page says:

    Beautiful photos. Amazed by the amount of snow you had. As I read through I chuckled as I imagined Peter wondering what he had got himself into. As with all unexpected happenings you are never prepared for them. Glad that both of you, Edna and the dogs got through it.

  4. Cathy says:

    Thank you all for your comments. The amount of snow was extraordinary, and I hope we never have to go through that again. Next time we shall be better prepared, but one lives and learns. I don’t feel too much like a townie because at our local on Friday night, everyone expressed similar experiences. What was so nice was knowing that we could’ve called on any number of neighbours for help, if we had needed it (and if our cell phones had been working!).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s