Tonight I drove home in blizzard conditions turning into complete whiteout. I had to stop right in the road because I couldn’t see where I was going. Moving meant going into a ditch on the right or possible oncoming traffic on the left. There is nothing you can do if you can’t see. When there was a moment’s let up I found myself on the wrong side of the road. It is easy to believe the incidents you hear of someone becoming disoriented even walking a few feet away from the car and getting lost.
Crawling a few feet at a time as I caught a glimpse of the road I made it to my 1/8 mile long driveway with its hills and curves. The wind was whipping across an open meadow causing sizable drifts. I just made it through to the office cabin. Safe! The Pleasure! From blizzard, anxiety and disorientation to sudden safety, warmth, comfort. A fire in the stove, the warmth of soft brown log walls and rich area carpets on the floor, lamp light against the dark. 14 x 20 feet of protection against the howling elements – the difference between delight and death. It is even starker in my 10×14 writing cabin, just the small four log walls against the winter wilderness, almost like a small animal home, sheltered but not cut off. This is not a pallid existence.
The wind howls all night. I lay there half enjoying it, half worrying that the driveway will be completely blocked off- what if a roof blows off some of the animals? No-one will be able to come to help me.
Handpainted Austrian teacup, vessel for fortification
Early in the morning, sighing, I get ready to check the animals and driveway. I make a cup of tea to fortify myself. Do I bother to get out of my comfortable nightgown or just throw on boots and a coat over it? Cold wind blowing up a loose garment and considerable discomfort if I slip and fall – versus sheer laziness. I am not ready to get dressed. Laziness wins and I walk down in the dawning light, tiny flakes of snow stinging my cheeks, cup of tea in hand…… Yes it’s blown in with dense, wind-pack four foot drifts…..
— Susan Eirich, PhD —