Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sequels Prequels

When last I posted, I included a photo I shot looking up our driveway the first morning into our last big snowfall. It's the first photo in the post. Here's the view up that same driveway the next morning. That's one big tree and several smaller ones across the top of the driveway. No, they did not hit the pickup truck shown in the idyllic photo from last time, which is not necessarily a good thing. The husband has been muttering about wanting a new vehicle, and this would have made that dream a reality. Once the husband and older son got a path shoveled up to the trees, they managed to remove them, a process involving much chain-sawing and chop-saw chopping. By the time they broke through and got to cleaning the snow off the pickup truck, they'd worked up quite the sweat. I tried to help but kept getting told to move because this or that branch might shift, something might fall, and so on. I took this as a good thing and didn't feel guilty about playing with the new 50mm lens I got for my Canon. Since it's been years since I've used anything but a zoom lens on an SLR, it took a while to get used to not being able to change the scene by zooming in or out. Here are some of the shots I ended up with.

Yes, that's a dogsled in the last shot. My mother brought it with her when she moved down here, and it looked sort of forlorn there in the snow with no companion dog team.

And here we are, a week out from when those shots were taken. The driveway still only has a footpath cleared, making unloading after grocery shopping a bit of an endeavor, but the roads we use to get anywhere are fine and were fine most of last week. The same cannot be said for many of the back roads in the county. The schools are supposed to re-open tomorrow; they have only been open one day in the last two weeks, and that was on a two-hour delay. Of course, it's also supposed to snow a bit tonight and tomorrow morning, so the possibility of another closure is real. And yesterday's newspaper called the snow coming tomorrow "a little more" while also mentioning "a lot more snow" coming a week later. That's actually fine with me since the only forecast I'm concerned about for the near term is Friday, when we drive to Richmond, fly from there to New York, and from there to Reykjavik. There have actually been several days lately on which the weather was better in Reykjavik than here. Here are links to the ten-day forecasts for Charlottesville and Reykjavik. As I write this, it will be colder in Reykjavik than here, but the daily highs and lows are much closer together. It is also forecast to be sunny in Reykjavik on Monday, February 22. Sunny means no clouds, and since clouds interfere with aurora viewing, no clouds is a good thing. Speaking of forecasts, there is also one for the aurora. It has not been updated to reflect the time we'll be in Iceland, but if you're wondering what our chances of seeing the Northern Lights are, this might help you.

Still on the "to do" list besides packing is to see, 36 hours before our Icelandair flight is scheduled to leave from New York, if I can check in online and, most importantly, get our seat assignments. It really should have occurred to either the husband or myself, but instead I found the advice on a travel forum to sit on the left side of the plane while flying to Iceland. The windows on the left face north and can offer above-the-clouds views of the aurora. Why didn't we think of that? It doesn't really matter, since we did learn it before, rather than during or after, the flight. And so, with five days to go, it really is all coming together. Here's hoping those aren't famous last words.

Finally, my last post also mentioned my making a bag out of plarn, yarn made by cutting up plastic shopping bags. It turned out that I had enough plarn to finish the bag. The instructions had the handles being reinforced with twine. We have twine somewhere in the house or garage; I know we do. It just wasn't in any of the numerous places in which I looked. I was determined not to buy anything new for a bag made from recycled plastic bags, so I rummaged through my basket of leftover yarn and used something from there. I haven't yet used the bag, but I will. I've also started saving bags for another plarn something. Working with the plarn was too fun not to do it again.

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