winter warmth


Zero in Fahrenheit above on the hill this morning.

Winter was coming, the electric was turned off. Would this be a good time to move to Maine? I don’t think we asked that question. We were elated to be moving to Maine. No jobs awaited us. No house or electricity. Would this be a good time to move to Maine? No one was asking as we sat around the glow of the small cylindrical “moonlighter” kerosene heater. It was a marvel of warmth and light to us in the trailer in a village in rural woodland Pennsylvania. Maine: There’s even an ocean, a Gulf.


The heater went into the capacious trunk of the old Buick, home canned goods, gift of R.’s mother, were strapped to the luggage rack on top. A friend, with sheep farm, was storing some furniture in her barn. Everything else — into the car. We were 2 (almost) adolescents and 2 (almost) adults.

Maine was the mythic place where moose and bear live. We knew Bear in PA, but not moose. Bear were not mythic. Moose? Moose.

moose pix small pix

Naturally God was going to take care of us. Or would that be “supernaturally?”

We lived on a pond that first Winter. Not out on the ice. The ice came later, whooping and cracking. When I first heard these sounds of expansion and contraction I thought bears were flinging metal garbage cans hither and yon. Sometimes it boomed with muted force. Or cracked along its frozen-water molecular spine.

We did not know much about wood stoves for heat. The pipe turning cherry red was some kind of clue. There’s this stuff called creosote. It catches on fire. Naturally — or supernaturally? — your rented ski chalet does not burn down. But you switch to electric… which got you into this in the first place.


Or would that be… unfortunately?


The bill got quite big. But there was this law in Maine. No shutoffs in winter with the workaround. Naturally. Or… well. You know.


6 responses

  1. I love your humor 🙂 The pipe turning cherry red must have been alarming. And that booming ice–I’ve never heard it, but I remember the year we got a snowstorm before Halloween (the only natural disaster I’ve ever experienced), the sounds all around of trees splitting and breaking. So dread-ful, in the old sense of the word.

    The moose is wonderful. A presiding spirit of the forest.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I write this from Gulf Stream enfolded England where I stepped carefully over icy puddles early this morning, the first ice for almost a year and we are at the same latitude as Hudson’s Bay. I am so glad that you visited my blog recently and I look forward very much to following your story. A favourite moment for me was your description of yourselves as (almost) adults. I feel very much that way myself as a 60 year old. One of David Bowie’s Absolute Beginners!


    • Stephen thank you so much. I’ve enjoyed reading your conversations elsewhere with some good people in the blogosphere. We are amazed by the weather patterns of this world! R., especially is a big weather follower. Nearby Mt.Washington, or Agiocochook, has some of the most extreme weather in the U.S.. I do envy the walking paths in your neck of the world. It must be great to walk there, even in rain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love that about the blogosphere too. I have met some wonderful people. I love our freedom to roam in England too. The mass trespass of April 24th 1932 was one of the great dates in our recent history that led to much of that freedom.

        Liked by 1 person

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