29 September 2015

A snowy Michaelmas

Happy Michaelmas! St Michael sure heard from me frequently today; it was a good day to be asking his intercession, asking him to "be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil," what with more than ten inches of snow fallen so far, four power outages, and one downed tree (and more leaning) in the yard. I was so glad to finally have Matt safely home tonight! This probably isn't what Michaelmas looks like in most places:

That's our road. It's currently only navigable by sled or on foot—thank goodness we have another driveway joining a different, larger road! Even just pulling the sled, I had to keep going off into the ditch to get around or under leaning trees on our way to the mailbox this afternoon. Little Bear loved our walk; he very quickly learned to listen right away when I told him to "duck and cover," and he kept pointing out the bent-over trees, laughing when I walked into them because I was looking back at him, and going on excitedly about our "adventure." Kit was less than thrilled, but I was carrying her instead of sticking her in the sled, so she just buried her face in my shoulder and grumbled occasionally.

Today was my first really intentional, planning-ahead celebration of Michaelmas. When the power came back on after the first outage of close to an hour this morning, I decided to put non-electricity-requiring tasks on hold until I finished making dinner. I felt a little silly roasting the evening's chicken and baking the squash before noon, but when the power went back out around 2 and stayed out until 5:30, I was sure glad I'd done it.

Our feast day dinner:

Roast chicken with apples and onions, the Michaelmas recipe from Feast! Real Food Reflections and Simple Living for the Christian Year, by Daniel and Haley Stewart; my mother's butternut squash bake; and a blackberry cobbler. I've definitely never cooked with blackberries before, and I'm not actually sure if I've ever eaten them cooked at all; they don't grow here, but I bought a bag of frozen ones yesterday so that I could tell Little Bear the story about them that goes with Michaelmas.

Apparently it was common, once upon a time in places where blackberries grow, to make sure you picked your blackberries before Michaelmas lest they turn bitter. Sour? Bitter? One of those. Anyway. They would turn bitter, so the story goes, because when St Michael cast the devil out of heaven, the devil landed in a blackberry patch, which hurt, and in anger he spat on the bushes. Little Bear thought it a great story; Matt did a passable job of hiding his amusement at my attempt to explain the battle in heaven at a three year old's level.

People here tell stories about the September of '92, which was the only year in many people's memory that we got more snow at once (let alone in September!) than we have so far this year; in '92, we got 24 inches over three days, and much of the area lost power. I remember that timespan from a kid's perspective: snow far above my waist, digging huge tunnels that lasted all winter, a huge kerosene heater in the living room... As an adult and parent this time, my reaction is a little less "yay, adventure!", but I'm working on being as excited about it as I can for Little Bear. I'm glad that it's happening today, of all days, as an extra thing to make our first Michaelmas memorable.

So far tonight our power is still on, but from what we've heard it is out all over the area, even places closer in to town than we are. Looking out the window this evening, we could see one tree resting on the power line coming to our house and another larger one leaning over the line, so we will see if the power stays on all night! It flickered again here just now; we might wind up having a more "adventurous" night after all. The snow is supposed to keep coming until 6 am.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Just wow. It's beautiful, but I can't even fathom using (that much) snow yet!!