Winter’s Eve

Unofficially, we’re in the house and out of the camper. Notably, we emptied the storage ‘pods’ (U-Boxes) and they’re getting picked up on Tuesday. And my dad might visit Thursday!


But one of the driving forces behind the latest moves is the weather: snow tonight and tomorrow, and temps around 20F on Monday night. It’s just not reasonable to try to stay in the camper through that — it’s a tin box that holds heat like cheesecloth holds liquid. Tomorrow or Monday we’ll tackle at least a rudimentary “winterizing” of the camper, and start to convert it over to overflow storage.

But enough boring things! How about the answer to life and everything, as seen from Nov. 1, 2014?

RIP Hazel

Rabbits are apparently surprisingly hard to keep alive? Hazel — the most aggressive and sprightly of our Angoras — seemed perfectly fine the other morning, hopping and reacting, and in the evening she was quiescent with her neck at an odd angle. Enough life left in her to set her up in the other hutch with water and food and comfort, but we were not optimistic. This morning we inaugurated our pet cemetery. We don’t know if it was illness, a virus, or a freak injury. But we have become much more vigilant over the remaining two bunnehs.

Where It’s At

One thing is clear: we’re closer to the edge of existence here, than we were in suburbia. Substantially closer? Hard to say. Drive down the roads here, and see each property arraying itself for winter, (largely) independent, individual. Vast woodpiles at the homes with stoves. Windows reinforced with plastic sheeting. Objects in yards covered with tarps. Gardens that just four months ago exploded into bloom, now turned over and mulched. Stakes erected to mark driveways for ploughs. The land is hunkering down, testing its reserves, and we are too.

Mother Knows Best


A year or two ago my parents gave us these platters, made by a student artist at Finlandia University. I think they gave similar works to my sisters, with different words on them. We opened these today, from our storage pods, and the imprinted words “LIFE” and “REALITY” hit us with fresh relevance. Back in Virginia I know we appreciated these artworks, but I don’t think the sentiments imprinted in them resonated quite as they do now.

I don’t know what we thought we were about back then; I don’t know what words we thought might have suited us better than these. But now, without a doubt, LIFE and REALITY say it all.