Ain’t Going Nowhere
December 26, 2018
Indian Divide, New Mexico
Ain’t Going Nowhere
I was just sitting in the outhouse, watching the snow. I was thinking about how many people would be in a panic if their sixty year old mother was in my same spot, in the midst of this winter storm. If the generator is humming in the shed, there is no direct power to this property. That I have five gallons of gas to spare would be of no consequence. There is no central heat either, aside from the woodstove. The pile of firewood beside the stove, and the stack by the shed, would be of little comfort to most folks. The 15 pound bottle of propane that fires the old gas stove wouldn’t be very encouraging either, and they would fear for her life, if she wasn’t like me. Forget that the outhouse is clear across the yard; that would be the least of their worries.
As it is, my son is comfortable knowing there is no place else I would rather be. We have been texting each other as the storm moves in, and sharing our pleasure in watching it. Both of us have a good fire going, and our yards are turning white. “It’s beautiful outside!” he says, and I have to agree. The temperature has fallen two degrees in thirty minutes, and the thirty degree mark on the thermometer says the storm is here to stay. We are both happy for that! I have already emailed my employer, one hundred and fifty miles to the north and east of here, that I am staying put. There is a great comfort in that also. I needed the time off, and if I wavered on returning to hold down the fort, I am now set to stay here. They won’t be worried either, at least regarding my comforts. They know I am well prepared, even for the worst. I could be snowed in for a week without any deprivations, though I might get a little cabin fever.
All things considered, I am better off than most. There is a fire blazing in the woodstove, and I have power, even if the grid goes down. I have kerosene lamps for back up, though the gas will last the generator for days, even if I ran it continuously, which I never do. I only need the electricity to charge my computer and phone, or if I want the lights. I can live and read by the lanterns. I have the gas stove for convenience, but can cook anything I want on the woodstove. There has been bread and brisket both that came out of the coals on other holidays, and even now my bath water is hot, should I desire it. There is no running water either, but about fifty gallons of water is stashed back in the kitchen. More than half of it is potable, should I need it. That is enough to last me for a week, all told, baths and all, should it be required. I have braved the worst of storms here with the same, when most everyone else suffered. I had water, heat and lights, when they did not.
I ain’t going nowhere today, unless the weather breaks, and maybe not even then. The solitude is most welcome, and I miss this place terribly. The fact is, I have not been home for a winter storm in a year at least, and I am hoping for a good one. I need the respite, and it is a good time to gather my thoughts. If I have been away trying to pay all my debts, I have one to myself, which negates all the rest of them for the moment. My definition of success is being here, and the time draws close when I may get to choose. The deprivation of spirit is far greater than any challenge nature can present me, at least from my present roost. Bring on the storm, I ain’t going nowhere! And don’t worry about me, I’ll be plenty cozy.