Sunday, December 30, 2012


With back-to-back snowstorms behind us, the Town of Waldo where I live has approximately 18 inches of snow on the ground. And with that amount of snow covering the banking around my cottage, the indoor temperature has risen by several degrees. Besides that, before the insulating blanket of snow came, even with the woodstove pumping, it was hard to feel totally warm and comfortable. Not now, though. As long as the snow lasts, keeping warm inside will present far less of a problem.

My morning was spent shoveling snow, probably my least-favorite activity in the world. The acquisition of one of those snow scoops, the kind that you push instead of lift, has made things at least somewhat easier. But when snow gets just so deep, it’s difficult to dump the snow from the scoop. The best I can do is to partially upend the thing and push on it. Then, when pulling back on the handle, the snow stays in place, as long as it was well-packed. That just goes to show that nothing comes easy.

The accumulated depth of snow now has caused me to re-think my plans for January 1, the first day that we may go ice fishing and keep trout, togue (lake trout) and salmon under general law rules. Wallowing through knee-deep snow to get out on a lake isn’t fun. Besides, I’m not totally sanguine about the thickness of ice on local lakes and ponds. Safe ice had only begun to form and now the snow will act as an insulator, making it difficult to add ice.

So after my morning’s labors, I’m just happy to come back inside and plan dinner…what I refer to as dinner, anyway. It’s an old-time country term for what most everyone now calls lunch. But lunch, in my vernacular, can happen anytime, as in, “I think I’ll stop and have a little lunch.”  

And of course dinner to everyone else is supper to me. It’s stuff such as this that I ponder now, what with my reinforced confinement in the house. The plow man hasn’t come yet and with all the driveways he has to plow and the depth of the snow, it’s possible I may be stuck inside for several days. And goodness knows what deep thoughts (as in lunch, dinner and supper distinctions) I’ll ponder in the meantime?

But not to worry. I have thawed out a package of squid from last summer. These, I vacuum-sealed in special bags and they are as good as fresh. And later, the pack of lamb chops I took from the freezer last night will make for an elegant supper (dinner, if you will).

Tonight is supposed to come off clear, albeit cold…the Weather Channel calls for temperatures of 0 Fahrenheit. But as long as it’s not too windy, cold won’t present a problem. I hope to set up a telescope and do some stargazing. Skies are often quite transparent after a storm front departs. And transparent skies, meaning a lack of upper-lever turbulence, mean excellent viewing.

And if the full moon poses a problem, then I might dispense with the scope and do some limited stargazing with my image-stabilized binoculars. These keep shaking to a minimum, the end result is something like a great leap in magnification. With these 10 X 30 Canon binoculars, I can plainly see all four of Jupiter’s Galilean moons. And of course, star clusters and other celestial goodies come to life in the Canons.

So being stuck at home because of snow is really no big deal. It used to happen to people all the time and they easily took it in stride. It’s only today, with the demand for unhampered access to stores and whatnot, that being snowbound makes folks uneasy. As for me, it doesn’t make much difference. I’ll use the time to write a few columns and work on some new jigs and reels. Besides, I have three bottles of Sam Adams Boston Lager in my refrigerator. It could be worse.

Happy New Year.

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