On the other Side of the Snowstorm: Repairing Broken Things

fixing the toaster

Mr. Turtle fixing the toaster

One of the things I love about snowstorms is how they can sometimes function like a home-vacation: a chance to tackle all the things you haven’t quite gotten to yet.  I talked about my plan on Friday of things I wanted to tackle: darning, personal projects, starting the Piecework lace project I’ve got to get off by the end of the week.  And in that regard, it was a lovely weekend.  Little did I realize it at the time, but the theme of the weekend became repairing things: Mr. Turtle and I took turns solving problems and mending what’s broken.  There’s a lovely sort of satisfaction in that.

Saturday morning with the snow still coming down, Mr. Turtle and I got up earlier than expected.  After breakfast (and happy we hadn’t lost power during the night), Mr. Turtle tackled repairing the toaster, which had been failing to latch when you put the lever down.

Darning Socks

Mending socks with a darning needle and yarn.

It was one of those moments that made me glad that Mr. Turtle and I have different interests and things we’re good at: when a small electrical appliance breaks, it’s “broken” to me, beyond repairing.  Similarly, when Mr. Turtle’s got a hole in his socks or some textile wears out, he wouldn’t have a clue about how to fix it.

But to Mr. Turtle, the toaster was (nearly) an open book.  Meanwhile, I was busy tackling a pile of darned socks that had been building (and building and building).  Many of them didn’t need much repairing – we’ve both gotten better about “watching” our handknits for thin spots.  Much of the work was just working duplicate stitch over areas worn thin.

So while Michael tackled the toaster, I tackled the socks.  Then, it was out to do the first of two shovel efforts, a quick walk, and then a retreat indoors as the storm picked up again.

hat, mittens, gloves and scarf hanging from an unused shovel in a pile of snow.

Loosing the hats and mittens as we warm up

Sunday dawned with the news that church was canceled (not surprising), and nearly another 8″ of snow spread over our cars, yard, driveway and sidewalks.  It was not going to be a fun job to shovel – our one real snow-shovel (with a metal edge along the blade!) was out of commision.  The day before I’d bent the handle – a combination of it being an “ergonomic” handle and me being a mite bit too enthusiastic.  I was not looking forward to shoveling the driveway, sidewalks and other areas with a garden shovel.  Not only are the blades on these shovels small (so small!), but it just hurt my New England pride.

This is, again, where Mr. Turtle comes to the rescue – off he vanishes with the broken shovel, to return with the blade on a new wooden handle.  Our yard edge-trimmer (which we never use), valiantly gave up its handle to be installed on the snow shovel.  Soon we were warming up, the hats and mittens, jackets and scarves coming off as we polished off the driveway.

And because it hurt my pride not to do it, we are the sole people on the street that also cleared off our sidewalks and storm drain.  Again, raised in New England (and later upstate New York), I’m fairly certain it’s a law that you have to shovel off your portion of the sidewalks and clear out storm drains in your yard.  If it isn’t a law, then it was at least a family law in our household: you dug out the mailbox, you dug out the storm drain, and, gosh darnit, you dug out the sidewalks to ensure safe passage from the house in case of a fire.

So even as we’re living in Ashland, we did the same.

Then, it was time for another walk, this one along some of the more parklike areas of Ashland, to take pretty, artsy snow photography and enjoy the evening sun.



Photographs from the farm, and the rare bit of snow we’ve gotten this year:

My darling fiancee Michael’s family owns a farm in rural VA that they use as a retrat.  Being within a few hours drive from DC, we are sometimes get to use the farm as a getaway from our own busy lives in the city.  It’s refreshing for Michael and I, for different reasons.  While I am pretty much happy living wherever, Darling Michael is a country boy at heart, and happiest in a place where you can’t see your next door neighbor, and it takes a car to get anywhere.

We went to the farm with a couple of friends, and it managed to snow that afternoon.
Naturally we had to play in the snow.

Because Ellie and Rob were with us, we had to make a snowasaurous. (pictured in the back).  Rob decided to make his own dinosaur (pictured in the mid-ground).  I was having so much fun rolling snowballs (which were being used for the two dinnosaurs) that after they said they didn’t need any more snowballs, I continued to roll balls for my own amusement.

I got rather tired.

But I had a lot of snowballs.

Last count I rolled upwards of 22 snowballs.  Some with a little help.

One of the more interesting aspects of the farm is the old equipment dragged into the woods to die.

It is affectionately known as farm art.

Michael took a walk with me in the snow, a grand tradition we try to honor as much as possible.  There he is in his trenchcoat, and one of the myriad of farm hats to wear at the farm.  This is one of his many glares (sometime I’ll do a post about how Michael really only has three expressions, and all expressions are variations of those three).

This is a hurry up and stop taking my picture look, under-laid with an I’m amused but not trying to show it look.

I found a Whoville tree.