Christmas Seven – Weather

Christmas SevenDealing with Mother Nature on the farm

It’s called the Lake Effect – the way snowstorms build strength as westerly winds traverse the Great Lakes, gathering up moisture which periodically bursts to the ground in great quantities. From early November well into May, in Jefferson and Lewis Counties, Lake Effect snow can total a couple of hundred inches.

That’s without Nature’s accompanying Turbine Effect: that’s how I account for the small (not insignificant) drifts that on many nights would accumulate on the pillows in the front upstairs bedroom Don and I shared. No storm window could prevent winter’s fresh deposits in a room so cold the drifts wouldn’t melt away.

We had two front rooms, one upstairs, one downstairs. The lower front room was meant to be a parlor, for the comfort of company. custodia per i iphone 7 plus That of course would be during the few warm months of the year.

There was a stove there – which, if used during the winter, would send heat to the boys’ upstairs room through the stovepipe. But during winter, the front room was closed up tight.
I can remember a handful of kids’ parties in there, since it had nice open space – but not in winter. custodia i iphone 7plus

The room was used in winter . . . now, this is dramatic, so you must suspend your disbelief for the moment: it was used for hanging out the wash to . . . to . . . freeze.

Okay, freezing the wash was hardly Mother’s intent, but it happened a lot. Heat from the living room, between the kitchen and parlor, couldn’t penetrate the intervening door.

Now, I have to admit that I don’t know how other people dealt with laundry in the winter before washers were routinely accompanied by dryers; but we hung out clothes in spring, summer, fall and winter. A frozen pair of pants, let’s say, could be retrieved as needed and thawed in the living room.

The fine art of living without a dryer included sure knowledge that clothing could be folded whether damp or dry; but don’t try that with ice crystals in the way. Did you know most fabric threads will break if bent or folded while frozen? Well, you don’t need to. custodia iphone 5s portafoglio sottile We did.

As for “other people” and how they dealt with this – they probably didn’t. We could have used the stove in the parlor, and maybe after I left home our parents did that, but it was pretty much a no-no to waste wood which had to be cut, hauled down the hill, cut into sections, split and stacked in the woodshed mostly by Pa, who worked long days in the city.

Judy once asked how we got enough hot water to bathe in. custodia iphone 6 tiffany

First of all, the galvanized wash tub in the kitchen didn’t hold a lot of water, especially with big bottoms displacing a good deal of it. So it wasn’t much more of a deal than having hot water for the clothes washer – and old iron tub with a belted motor and a hand-wringer – or the dishpan.

I once bought a scale-model cast-iron kitchen stove which I like to look at. It provides the answer to my wife’s question. There is the water tank, part of the stove directly alongside the furnace part. Hot water was available all the time, with a dipper handy.

The washer sat in the kitchen with a pegged rack above it for coats and scarves. Beneath it was room (but not enough) for muddy boots. For use as a washer instead of furniture, it was pulled away from the wall after a mountain of everything brought into the kitchen had been taken off its nice wide, flat top. (Next question: what did you do with all that stuff? Answer: “Umm . . .”.

Nature provided insulation for the otherwise-drafty house foundation. custodia iphone 7 laccetto “Is that what it looks like? Manure?”

Yep. After frequent frost season set in, some of the gifts our cows left for us in the stable were packed tightly against the foundation stones, to be removed at maple-sugaring time as warm days came. No smell, just more work for Pa.