Portland, Maine – and SNOW!

I got to Portland about mid-afternoon on Sunday, after a dry (but very gray) drive over from Vermont. But I beat the snow – it started snowing that night, and by evening we knew life would be closed on Monday. The Quaker Knitting Goddess with whom I am staying works for the State of Maine, and all state offices were closed. So we had a quiet and peaceful Monday, knitting, visiting, knitting, mending knitting, warm and cozy.

Today had some sun, and the beginning of melting; to go out and run errands meant cleaning about 10 inches (about 25 cm) off the car. Here I’ve cleared to the center line of the roof, on one side:

Best-laid Plans, and All That

Today was the first birthday party for my great-grandson. My plan was to drive to Connecticut to be in time for the celebration at noon, with Christmas stockings for the family, and a hat for him. But Friday it spent the day dropping piles of heavy wet snow (glad I got that leaning tree down first!), and it was still falling when I awoke. It was hard, under the circumstances, to haul myself out of my nice warm bed, but I did, and packed clothes and food and knitting for several days in Connecticut, and went out to load the car.

OK, so I have to shovel first, but if I can get it moving downhill, it will probably do it. So I shoveled, and loaded, by that time knowing I wouldn’t make it for the start of the party. About one third of the way down the driveway, there was another problem:

When I was younger, I would have just wrestled it to the side – but now that I’m older, my arthritic joints took exception to trying to lift that long tree, mired in snow. The neighbor below was out clearing off her car; I texted down asking if someone could bring up their little chain saw – then, getting no response, shouted down for her to check her phone! In a few minutes she was trudging up the hill, chainsaw in hand, and cut it into small enough lengths to pull out of the way, and I proceeded on down the hill. I gave up on attending the party, arranging to see that family tomorrow.

With a stop in Brattleboro for a brief visit with a couple of the Knitting Goddesses, it was on south, so now I’m in Connecticut for several days of visiting family and friends, and knitting play dates.

Snow on Mt. Ascutney

About every other day, the local peak turns white. It was white on Easter (when I took this photo) and bare yesterday – but I’m sure it’s white again, as I had snow sliding off my roof this morning, and some on the ground. I considered going out to get pics of snow on the daffodils, but decided it was not necessary to go out in the damp and cold!

Last Week in Review

It snowed. It melted. It snowed. It melted. I spent a lot of time throwing sand at the ice around the stuck Roadtrek. It snowed. It melted. By Wednesday, using the borrowed car to go to knitting, I returned home to find the neighbor working on extracting the Roadtrek – and it worked! He was able to get it centered in the driveway, at least, but by then it was snowing again. I threw more sand on the ice below the camper, giving up to go up the hill and home through the fresh snow. Thursday? Too snowy. But melting again on Friday meant I was able to get both the Roadtrek and the car out, the RT parked below at the neighbors’, the car made it up the hill again all the way to the top. As did the borrowed Toyota Rav 4WD, although that was less of a surprise. It snowed, it melted. The neighbor came up and we put some time into chasing plumbing leaks – one fixed, another showed up. That one fixed, the dishwasher decided to shed its incoming water line. And that’s where things stand now – plumbing works, except for the dishwasher; I have a fan drying under and behind where it had flooded. But I don’t have to carry water, can flush the toilet, and can shower!! Meanwhile, the borrowed car needed to be charged (it’s not been run enough to top off the battery until I borrowed it) and yesterday, my car – which had been starting fine, but had only gone down and back up the driveway – had a low battery and a nearly flat tire. Sigh. If it’s not one thing, it’s another – but I did drive it down, filled it with fuel, and today drove it to Wednesday knitting, so it’s happy now. Right now. Maybe not tomorrow, but now!

Roadtrip, Maryland to Virginia

Monday, January 31: This was a non-Roadtrek trip; I left it behind and drove a vehicle that was already loaded, from Maryland to Virginia. Today was closing day for my friend, which happened successfully – and we got two vehicles unloaded and a tour of the house before going to another friend’s house for supper and to spend the night. The most notable thing of the drive was the number of pines that had had too much snow to remain standing! For miles along the highway in Virginia, there were trees down like these – or which had been cut back where they’d fallen into the road.

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Winter Edition 2

Sunday, January 30: Having left a day late to let the snow finish doing its thing, I had miles (and miles!) to cover – but that didn’t mean I wanted to get on the interstates and bore myself! It was a stunningly beautiful sunny day, although it never got above freezing, and I kept having to clear the slop off the windshield. I took a new route through western Connecticut, where this graveyard for monitors is, and then into New York State; that’s where I found the single lane road through state forest land.

It was slow and gorgeous and uneventful – until this plow truck came up the opposite way! I was able to back into a nearby driveway, and he went by. And immediately met another vehicle coming down! That was too much for him; he reversed a half mile or so down the road (shown backing here) until he could pull off, and we went past. That takes some skill!

On through New York, and New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, getting to my cousin’s apartment in Baltimore, Maryland for a quick stop. I wanted her to try on the sweater I’m making before finishing the second sleeve; she’s happy with the fit so I’ll hope to finish that before heading north again.

I ended the day in southern Maryland, and tomorrow start helping a friend move to Richmond, Virginia.

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Winter Edition

I left Vermont yesterday, January 28. Going to Connecticut and visiting the month old great-grandson was first on the list – and his mother, and aunt (to whom I was delivering mittens knit as a late Christmas gift) and his grandfather. I was good to see, and catch up with, that piece of the family – and have a chance to snuggle the latest addition! Then it was over to visit a friend. It was supposed to be a quick overnight, and leave this morning for Baltimore and southern Maryland – but the weather forecast made that seem very unwise. When the big trucks are asked to be off the highway by 6AM, I figure I should, too! So today was spent knitting, and being leaned on by Bader: 

We did go out to clean off vehicles, and so I could bring in the makings for dessert – and again when the men with the snowblowers showed up to get the vehicles out of their way, so they could clear the driveway. It was still snowing when it got dark.

Seed head on ornamental grasses

Holiday Parties

Having returned on December 5th, I immediately jumped into the social scene – a land preservation meeting the 6th, the holiday party at Six Loose Ladies (where I participate in two knitting groups, and the above house is across the street) on the 9th, and the Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS) holiday party the 14th. The hosts are serious UFO enthusiasts:

There was food involved – the ORFS potluck is always amazing – but I didn’t get a photo.

The plan was that I would spend Saturday, December 18th, knitting with a couple of my Quaker Knitting Goddess friends – but the forecast was for very wintery weather, and I’m glad I didn’t go. I would have made it to Brattleboro just fine – but going home would have been nasty. We spent a lot of time texting back and forth, though, so I didn’t feel left out! Sunday when I awoke, this was the view from my knitting chair:

I’ve not been out of the yard since about the 17th, so I’ve been knitting, and watching snow fall, and knitting, and not much else for the past four days.

More Snow, and Another Finished Project

It started snowing Monday evening, and continued through the day yesterday, building up another 12 – 15 inches of white stuff. It was heavier than the last storm, and I was glad I’d aimed the car downhill! When the snow had pretty much stopped, I went down, cleared the car of snow (mostly), packed a distance down the hill, and was able to get the car nearly to the bottom. But the neighbor had plowed across the bottom of my drive, and I didn’t dare try to go over/through two feet of packed snow, so I figured I’d go home and deal with shoveling in the morning. I am so fortunate in my neighbors – another neighbor went out – after dark! – and plowed away the berm at the bottom, and shoveled out from in front of my wheels, and cleared the remaining snow off the roof of the car. When I went down this morning, with enough time to shovel if I had to, I found that all I had to do was start the car and drive out! No problem! Then it was on to deliver 320 meals for the hungry from the caterer to a place which distributes them, and then to northern Vermont and my sister to drop off stuff and do another sewing project.

Meanwhile, while posting all those wildlife photos, I finished the hat shown above for the sister of the friend for whom I made the last hat. Same colorway, same (diminishing) pile of stash. Now I’m more than half way through a pair of fingerless mitts to go with it. With luck, I’ll finish them before the weekend.