Have you ever sat down with a cup of coffee and looked out a window early in the morning and found yourself transported off to another place and another time? Perhaps it was a time of fondness....say, somewhere in your childhood that was a time you’ll never forget. I have those times...times when I can sit and not move a muscle for fear of breaking my concentration, which could revoke my privilege of revisiting this special time and place...of which there are many.
I remember sitting down in front of the computer today and seeing a warning of impending snow, which was to start during the day sometime...and true to their prediction, it did...but not before I was whisked off to that special place in my memory. It was a time when I looked out the window of our house....during the 60’s sometime, and school was out for the holidays. That might have been Thanksgiving or Christmas, but most assuredly wasn’t anytime around the first day of deer season, for there were not a bunch of people at our home in Marysville, Pennsylvania and if it were around deer season, there would not be a sane moment in the day or night. Many of our family members came to hunt with my Mother and Father during the deer season, and my Grandmother would be the “camp cook” for the first two days. Mom, Dad, my other Grandmother and both Grandfathers, along with many aunts and uncles would hunt from our house for those two days. My Grandmother, who cooked, watched my little brother all day and I after the bus dropped me off at our door after school. My brother was eight years younger than me, so when I was old enough to go hunting with the troops...he was still only four years old. I was less than twelve as I recalled in this memory, for I was not hunting with everyone....but awaiting the chance, so I was living in a dream world of deer hunting as I recalled. I always reveled in the dream of joining the hunt and becoming a part of that traditional time of the year, for there was always such hearty laughter and story telling going on...just what an eleven year old has to endure for the last time....considering I could not hunt that year, but would come of age a mere three months later. Just my luck! Become twelve and able to legitimately go hunting.....but have to wait another lousy eight month before the next season rolled around. That part really sucked. They should have left you hunt the season, in the year of your twelfth birthday. How lucky the kid born in the second week of November! He would not have to wait much at all to hunt in his twelfth year...considering buck season was the Monday following Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania.
Anyway, I was awaiting a holiday meal of some kind, because I remember my Mom working in the kitchen, with her mom... sitting at the table, sipping coffee and talking to her. I was frantically pacing between the front door and the back door, checking and watching for the others to arrive. Dad of course was working...due to arrive at any minute, usually carrying milk and pastry for the meal. My Grandfather was drinking a cup of coffee too, but he was on the side porch, listening and looking for anything that might present itself before him. I believe it was the American Indian in him, which kept him from enjoying the indoors. He was always much more relaxed sitting on the porch or sitting in the woods hunting...for it was there he was at his best. He was half Indian...Shawnee brave of the Algonquin family in the Juniata Valley of central Pennsylvania... His Mother, my Great Grandmother was full blooded and was well known in the community as the girl whose Aunt was the squaw that drove the oxen from the Reedsville stockyard by the railroad to the Big Valley Auction barn, where they would be auctioned off to the settlers in the valley. The stock master contacted her because the local men were afraid of the oxen....after all; they had never seen such huge animals before. The extremely large animals didn’t scare Aunt Anne Henry, for I suppose she saw many a buffalo during her march to Oklahoma, on what was known as the trail of tears. She was taken there as a young girl, sold for a nickel and brought all the way back to central Pennsylvania in a stroke of luck....or was it?
Anyway my Grandfather was an elusive and hard man, passing many of those traits to my Mother and obviously, on to me in the end. Mom was a loving, strict, stern parent who was much dumber on the outside, than she was on the inside...or at least that is how she portrayed herself, for I would figure out a way to get ahead of her to do things I wanted to do without her knowledge, but much later in life, she smiled and told stories in great detail about all those things I did behind her back...Which she didn’t know anything about.....Smiling all the while, as she continued to tell about all the things that she never knew about. It was times such as these that prompted me to ask myself, who was really the dummy here anyway?
I remember longing for those days of celebration to arrive, for m y Mother made every one of those holidays the special times in our lives that they were. So special and so exciting that we didn’t realize how much until she passed and we never had those times again. Now I would give anything to go back and enjoy but one of those times with family again...and be able to introduce Vick to her and have them do what a wife and mother-in-law like my Mom, would have done. I know they would have gotten along like a mother and daughter, laughing and enjoying one another’s company. They say some things never change, but that is a wrong statement...for everything always changes...everything and everybody.....all in their own good time and all in their own way. I suppose that is why a dream of the past and a memory of the same never vary. It is all we have to cling to when that time is done and that chapter of our life closes, like a page in a book.
Last evening, I went to the basement and installed the transfer switch for the new generator on the wall and tie it into the existing breaker panel. I now will bore a hole in the wall and run the BX cable of the prewired panel to the prewired box on the generator outside. That will tie those two together. I will then have to cut in the chosen circuits in the panel which will be energized by either the power company or the generator, depending on where the transfer switch is toggled. I need to ground the generator with two eight foot copper coated ground rods and contact the propane company to come and advise how it should be tied in to their supply tank, so as to not disrupt the other devices supplied by the existing tank.
Lastly, we will need to fire up and test it. Once completed, the house and farm will have lights, heat and water in a power outage.....AUTOMATICALLY! Below are a few pictures of the existing panel with the new one connected and ready to wire in. Now....for the “caught with our pants down...In a blizzard” opening statement!
We have all the summer stuff still out in what appeared this afternoon. SNOW! Yes...look below at the pictures following the generator installation pictures and you’ll see our snow accumulation, which is now covering lounge and chair cushions, the pool filter and pump...picnic table umbrellas and all the other summer things needing put away. Yep...our pants were at our ankles in this one!
Friday, October 28, 2011...OMG...There’s Another On The Way Tomorrow......
Oh boy...there’s another significant snowfall predicted for tomorrow night, with an accumulation of 2-4 inches here in the valley area and into Albany, with 5-6 inches possible in the mountainous areas where Vick’s brother lives. That is the same accumulation they are calling for in Philadelphia, PA....and on up the coast, into New England. We still have all the summer things out in the yard and with things as they have been for us this last month, the pool pump and filter is still on the pool, instead of being tucked comfortably in it’s usual winter resting place.
All the cushions are on the deck chairs, etc. and the grounds hoses and hose reels are still full of water......now quite frozen and threatening to rupture.
We must go to the mountains today to celebrate our nephew’s birthday, so the work of preparing will be cut short this afternoon, when we take off for Lexington.
Here we go again... This stupid weather is gonna kill us in the end, sooner or later.
If we get six to fifteen inches of wet heavy snow with the leaves still on most of the trees here, we will surely have power outages similar to the extent we suffered during hurricane Irene. Our standby generator will not yet be hooked up and ready for operation, so that will be another ultimate blow to endure.
Imagine the feeling...having no power for heat, lights, TV and the usual comforts, yet we have a generator sitting on a pad behind the house which would run the entire house and it’s just not exactly ready to operate yet! PERFECT... Simply PERFECT!
We will do our best this morning and afternoon to gather up as much of the summer crap which we neglected to put away yet and stuff it into the buildings so we can at least have some of the stuff done before the snow hits, so this is about all I will write for now. I’ll post pictures of the big event and the resulting floods we get on Monday when it is 51° out there and everything melts rapidly. That is if the house doesn’t float away!!!!!!!
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