Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Here are a few photos of the incredible ice storm that came about the time work ceased in December, 2008.
This is about 2 miles down the road, toward West Newbury, VT
Everything was heavily coated, and sparkled like diamonds in the morning sun.
View to the southeast, across the Connecticut River into New Hampshire, with Mt. Cube and cloud-shrouded Smart's Mountain in the background.
This is what Christmas, 2008 looked like around here. It was incredible in every direction. About 200,000 people were without power in Southern NH, but we were fine in Northern VT.
Our project ground to a halt in December before the roof could be put on. We were very disappointed, since the original plan was to have a weather-tight shell (roof, walls and windows/doors in place) by about October or November, so we could work in a heated space through the winter months. Winter around here can be cold, and -20F is not rare, and even -30F happens from time to time.
Serious Setback: We lost a lot of summer days to rainy weather, and Jean-Paul's mom died at the end of the summer, which really set him back. Jean Paul went out to visit her and say his goodbye's when she started failing, but she died before he could get there.
Emotional Setback: Our beloved Keeshond, Sasha, was starting to fail. Despite our best efforts, and those of the local Vet to keep her on her feet, the strength in her real legs was sinking fast. She'd have good days and bad days, and always loved getting outside to see the world. When she could no longer get up onto her rear legs, we knew we couldn't keep stringing her along, and the cold weather would be miserable for her. We took her to the Vet for the last time in early December.
The Last Straw: Working in the cold of December was going quite slowly, but the last straw was the death of Earl Bancroft, who had started having seizures that caused him to black out for days at a time. He had a few of these, and lost a lot of strength from October to Early December, but he loved working on the house, and insisted that he needed the work and the activity, and something to do to avoid going crazy.
Earl lived a few miles away in a tiny cabin. On Christmas day, after failing to show up at his sister's house for the family gathering, Earl was found dead in his freezing cabin. Earl was a gentle man who had lived a hard life. He'd spent years managing the forest where he lived, and worked for many years making ladder rungs with a drawknife. I'm glad I got to know him while he was here.
We had all had enough hardship for one building season, and vowed to pick up where we had left off in April or so, when it would be warm enough to resume work.