Stella was an expected guest who came in quietly at first on Tuesday and hung around for a bit, almost like she was chilling out on the couch with us watching TV. Some snow started to fall lightly, then a little more steadily. Then she got a glint in her eye and asked where the liquor cabinet was, and before we knew it, 60 mph winds, zero visibility and widespread power outages! Wednesday morning's aftermath felt like the morning after a small get-together that quickly escalated into a wild rager; walking into the living room to find it destroyed with broken bottles strewn about, strangers passed out all over the floor, a smashed window, and barbecue sauce on the walls.
On the drive in from Gilmanton, there were downed trees everywhere; blocking roads, resting on powerlines, on the rooves of four or five houses I passed. I even saw a large pine branch resting on two powerlines, smoking above the road! Not to age myself here, but I haven't seen that many downed trees and powerlines since the Ice Storm of '98! --My coworker just chimed in, "I was four years old in 1998!" I glared at her. I suppose I could've gotten away with a thicker New England accent for that statement and embellished my stories about the ice storm a little more after that. I guess for those of us that grew up and lived through our fair share of Nor'Eastahs, we all have a little salt-of-the-Earth in us.
Call me crazy, but it was actually kind of nice to be without power, cable, internet, and water (well, water would've been nice). I cooked french toast over the woodstove for dinner and walked around the house with a ski hat and headlamp on while Stella raged on outside. I finished a book I'd been reading on and off for way too long and went to bed at a reasonable hour! I read posts yesterday about how thankful people were to hang out with their families by candlelight, taking turns reading to one another, playing cards and board games, and finger painting. All it takes is the deprivation of instant gratification and the little things we take for granted on a daily basis to spend some simple, quality time together.
The amount of snow we got is pretty cool as well. Just as things were starting to look a little bare at the mountain and people were starting to talk about their yards, and even summertime (just stop), BAM! Stella! --or as I've been saying since we found out about the storm's namesake, "Stellllllaaaaaahhh!" She got a little out of hand, but she got here right on time when we needed her and delivered the goods! We received 18 inches of snow here at the mountain; 18 inches of chalky, drifted, fluffy, beautiful snow, and we got to open the glades back up and spread it all over the areas that had been lacking for a full refresh.
Winter's not over yet, folks! As we know here in New England, even after Spring officially begins on Monday, another snowstorm could be right around the corner. We'll have our fingers crossed for another one right up until closing, and, because we're a little crazy here, even after that!
*Though we're elated to have all this new snow, we're aware that there are some who dealt with more difficulties than power outages and would like to extend our sincere thanks to all the road crews, local and state police, fire fighters, first responders, utility companies, and everyone who helped keep us safe and warm this week. We salute you!