We drove the 77 miles to my parent's home today. My sister from Maryland and her children arrived yesterday to spend a few days. The weather was frightful! It was -4 F with wind gusts to 40 mph during the drive down. We didn't have much snow yesterday, maybe only 2 inches, but with the layer of ice on the ground what was there didn't stay put. The highway was clear but there were occasional patches of near white out conditions.
My parent's farm off to the right.
When we got off the highway onto the gravel road where my parents live, things rapidly deteriorated. The road was a sheet of ice. It wasn't too bad except for the S curve where the road crosses a creek so it's a sloping curve. We went VERY slowly.
Boys sliding down the icy hill.
We had a high of 4 F with continued dangerous windchills but that didn't stop the boys from going out to play. My parents had about half an inch of ice on Thursday night and the ice over snow is thick enough to support even an adult's weight. The boys had fun sliding down the icy hill in the barnyard. The barn was built on my parent's farm in 1876, before that it had been a mill and was taken apart piece by piece, labeled, hauled by train and wagon and reassembled on the family farm. The farm has been in the family since the mid 1800s.
We didn't let the boys stay out for more than 20 minutes at a time, even with snowsuits because it was THAT cold. When they came in it was time to open gifts. My family is pretty sane when it comes to gift giving. I gifted my niece and nephew with 'Cookies in a jar'. My sister and brother (who was sick and didn't make it) got a jar of cookie mix, a pint of applebutter and a jar of green tomato- apple chutney. My sister was pleased. For my parents: we gave them a gift of bees from Heifer Project. They really don't need anything- and I've already gifted them with chutney (my Mom cans more than I do so most canned items aren't a treat for her). We also gave them an IOU for beef when we get our side of beef in January.
J14 looks at gifts, my sister Joyce and my Dad in the background.
My parents got cookbooks for all their grandchildren except K8. He got edible treats since my Mom didn't think he is quite ready for a cookbook yet. The boys got kits to learn magic tricks from my sister and J14 got hair accessories. My parents gave V a new LED flashlight with rechargeable batteries and my Mom gave me a counted cross stitch picture she had made of cardinals in the snow. I tried to get a photo but the glass in the frame created too much glare.
Like I said, my family tends to be pretty sane with gifts. I just wish I could sat the same about V's family.
We ate enough food for about a week. Since it is Winter Solstice today we ended up leaving earlier than I would have liked but we wanted to get back before dark due to the bad road conditions.
I need to get to my independence days post at some point soon. At least spending time with family for a celebration helped lift my spirits a little. I'm just dreading boing back to work tomorrow. Maybe I'll sweet talk V to see if he can give me a ride in the morning. There is a windchill advisory and blizzard warning still in effect. They're calling for windchills into the -30's F again tomorrow morning. I really don't want to walk a mile and a half in that.
Blessed Solstice to all. The days will be getting lighter again. I can't wait to feel the warm sun on my face again and the dirt between my fingers and toes.