Saturday, December 8, 2018

Pros and cons of the frozen north

My lovely wife and I normally stay up north until after Christmas. This year we made plans to stay for the whole winter. The furnace was serviced and heating oil purchased. The woodstove is in good shape. More insulation was placed on top of the buried waterline in hopes it would not freeze.

Due to early snow it's feels like the middle of winter. That's nice for the Christmas spirit. It's not really Christmas without snow on the ground.

Biting insects have all died. That's one bright spot. I've better footwear and coats for the cold. The car has snow tires. Our house solar electric system has a new battery bank -very handy when snow laden trees take down the power lines

One of my problems with the cold is my damaged lungs. Very cold air sends me into massive coughing fits. This year I'm using a face mask and that helps a lot.

Most of my friends and family are in the Northeast. It's nice to have your tribe around. Even with my painful leg infection, I've made the effort to connect with people.

Our adult niece has been living with us since she moved out from her boyfriend's house. She's slowly been getting her act together. She now has some income, her car's been fixed, but she's had difficulty getting a new apartment. We can't just leave her alone at the house and go traveling. In the past when I've had winter house sitters, I had to write out a manual on how the house runs. There are two different electrical systems: grind and off-grid. There are water filters that need periodic changing. Air filters need changing. Maintaining the woodstove and chimney is a whole other issue. My niece lacks the skills to take proper car of things. That's just the way it is.

Recently, my niece seems to have the chance to get into a place of her own. Once she moves out, it won't actually be necessary for us to stick around. We may still do so, but we won't feel obligated to do so.

Should we decide to go traveling, it would not take long to leave. We could pack up the car and shut down the house in a day. There are some good solid reasons to travel.

First of all, we love to travel. We like to see new things and meet new people. Of course, we also like to go somewhere warm. My in-laws are in Texas and getting along in age. I understand if my lovely wife would like to spend some time with them. It's easier for me to get exercise when camping in the sunny south. I lose pounds without even trying. My lungs feel better.

So how do the costs break down? It's pretty much a toss up. We can camp pretty inexpensively. Our car is easy on gas. The big cost savings is not having to heat the house. That gets pricey, especially when we have those sub-zero days with the wind howling.

What will we do? No idea. We have flexibility. I'm thinking that much depends on how the winter develops. Nothing like never ending cold and constant snowstorms to tip the balance,



  1. Stay or go, I hope the choice is yours.

    1. Thanks Gorges! If my water freezes I'm heading south. :)

  2. Hi 6 bare's,
    Funny you should mention that!! 'One of the reasons I left NC (winter not as bad as yours but bad enough!!) and moved back to the ole homestead "God's Country, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana!!!" It get's a little "Chilly" but a "Freeze" only lasts from 2 AM till maybe daybreak.. maybe twice a winter!!! Oh Yes!!, It will SNOW here... once every 7 years!! and it only lasts for a day!!
    But my best "January" Story is from back in the day at Perris Valley Paracenter in CA.. We're goin' to 12,500 feet AGL with only "T-shirts & short's" under our jump suits and it's barely cool outside!! After jumpin' we were in the "BOMB SHELTER BAR!!" Drinkin' "COLD Beer" and tellin' Lies...then the 10 o'clock news comes on the TV shows the midwest under "FEET!!" of Snow.. people dressed like eskimo's wieldin' snow shovels digin' out, cars with 3 feet of snow on them and "we" are in T-shirts, shorts and flipflops diggin' it and
    "Lovin' it!!!!"
    Blue skies,

    1. A neighbor was in the Navy. His ship was down to Jacksonville Fl. One of his buddies got him out of bed, all excited. They had 4 inches of snow over night. My neighbor says, "You got me up for that? Back home that's a light frost."

  3. Having some lung issues myself, I ran across the "bioscarf" and thought I would share it with you. They have it on Amazon. I haven't tried it yet.

  4. I checked the scarf out. One thing I don't like is it may not stay in place good enough. We finally decided on this one from Amazon. I believe if you research you will find just the one that will help you.

    Muryobao Mouth Mask Anti Pollution Mask Unisex Outdoor Protection N99 4 Layer Filter Insert Anti Dust Mask with Valve Filter Black

    1. I picked up a RZ filter mask that's quite similar. When I ordered it I also picked up some of the higher grade filters. So far I like it.