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Swirling snowstorm at the farmette

We're back to winter on the farmette - about nine inches of snow has fallen since Friday morning and apparently there's more on the way. While we have been shovelling and sweating and hunkering, nearly no one else we know is dealing with accumulated snow...friends in Guelph have had, like a couple of centimetres, and even my sister, who's 40 minutes away, closer to Georgian Bay, had a minimal amount as of yesterday. That's the thing about living in Grey County. We sometimes get walloped and we sometimes get off scot free. What's important is to be prepared for anything and deal with whatever comes. Here are a few tidbits I've learned about winter weather survival on the farmette after nearly five years. (Has it really been that long?)

Plan ahead. When you hear Chris St. Clair of the Weather Network say we're in for a big blow - heed his warning and get ready. Last Friday before everything closed in, Rob went to the local Independent and Premium Beef and stocked up on tonnes of groceries - including an ample supply of cat food (see bottom shelf).

I have to admit that we felt a little smug and snug in our wee brick house when the wind got to gale force, the trees were flailing their limbs around and the cold white stuff was swirling in micro-tornados.

Have lots to do indoors. Keeping busy is fundamental for me. I've been knitting like a fiend - no big projects, but little ones that only take an evening to do. I'm working on my annual bunch of preemie caps to take down to the London Children's hospital the next time we visit the folks.

Works for me. I keep my hands occupied while watching the next best thing on iTunes - it was Dr. Strange the other night - and tiny, sickly infants benefit from having toasty noggins. Not bad.

Shovel efficiently. I've got my routine for doing the sidewalks down to a science, and I can dig us out in less than an hour. First thing is to push the snow mover in front of me as I make my way to the mail box to pick up the newspaper.

That way, I don't get the bits of icy footprints cemented to the path that cause me to go ass-over-teakettle when I'm hightailing it to the Jeep. I usually go back to the house on the same path and take a coffee break before returning to do the hard slogging of cleaning up the edges and heaving the snow into miniature versions of the Rockies on either side of the walkway.

Relax. Once I'm done with the preparing, shovelling and knitting, I eventually just take a bit of time to sit and marvel at the force of nature that is a snowstorm. The latest one was a ripper - big enough to make me wonder at how little control we as humans really have, and small enough to keep the real damage to a manageable minimum.

I guess the best thing about living in the sticks during a snowstorm is the aftermath - a pure white frigid landscape and the feeling of gratitude for being able to deal with it.

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