Some of Us Love Snow
I’ve always loved snow. Growing up in the Seattle area, where most years an inch of snow was a lot, I never got enough of it. Becoming an adult changed nothing, I still love snow. Here in New England, where it snows every few days, I still get a little giddy every time those flakes start to fall. What I have had had enough of is the cold, and the ice. I’m not nearly as jazzed about hard, slippery ice as I am about quiet, soft, forgiving snow.
The slowdowns around snow do get to me after while, even though I work from home. For sure if I had to get to a job every morning snow would be a little harder to love.
There’s an old quotation that I trot out every year when someone complains about how hard it is to get places in the snow:
“The only thing wrong with snow is the internal combustion engine.”
I truly believe this. Without cars we’d have no need to salt roads. We’d live within walking distance of our work, or take the sleigh. I like to imagine everyone commuting in high-tech, steampunk sleighs. Bring on the sleighs!
I can’t remember where I heard this saying, or who it was that said it. After hours of online searching I’ve given up on finding the source. If anyone knows who said this please let me know in the comments or by email. Also, the saying may need some updating now that hybrid and electric engines are on the scene. Last time I checked vehicles fitted with those still ran on tires that spin on snow and ice. Snow has no effect the motion of sail boats.
Blizzard Damage on the Massachusetts Coast
Naturally there are stories in the news about the damage the blizzard inflicted on the shoreline, especially at Cape Cod.
This video features some beautiful shots of Minot’s Light covered in ice. This gorgeous, civil war era lighthouse is just south of us, but we’ve never seen it. I’m now wondering if I can wait for the boat to be ready to sail there, or … Road Trip!
Residents of Scituate reported a breach in their sea wall. I heard later that the wall was unbreached but the shoreline had changed so much that it looked as if the wall was broken. Here’s an eyewitness account of the mess at Scituate.
The damage that typically gets press tends to be about the built environment. The sea wall is broken by a storm, the stairs to the beach are wiped out by a rogue wave, the house is flooded, or knocked off its foundation. While I sympathize with the plight of those whose structures are broken by natural forces – we lost our own beach stairs one winter – I keep hoping more folks will learn from the event and do things differently.
Expecting nature to respect our buildings is a recipe for disaster. We must respect nature, the way the wind works, the way the sea works, the way the land works. Just because the people at the building department allow us to put our houses in the flood plain does not mean we should put our house in the flood plain. Every year, along all the coastlines of the world, people are taught the lesson of nature’s actions. Before you rebuild whatever broke, try to learn from that lesson. Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. My Whidbey friend Elliott Menashe has spent his career trying to get people to respect the forces of nature in the shoreline environment and build accordingly. Reading these articles reminds me of him.
In addition to the damage to buildings, this article talks a bit about the damage to the dunes themselves, including some erosion near the Truro Light house we visited in January, where the stormy ocean scoured out the bottom of the bluffs, undercutting the sandy cliffs above. Natural processes, things will just be a little different when we visit next.
Cookie Recipe and an E-book
Speaking of insanity – in my last post I told about baking cookies to stay warm after the blizzard took out our electricity. Having something in the oven assuaged my guilt about using it to heat the boat. I haven’t included many recipes on this blog but I have two reasons to today.
1. They were good cookies. I recommend them.
2. I want to let my readers know that I have an e-book about food available. It’s called O 2 B MFK and this week Amazon Prime members can download it free. Also, I’ve finally created a Nancy Bartlett author page on Amazon, complete with an author bio that doesn’t mention when we’ll be sailing south. I’ve learned my lesson about announcing sailing plans!
Enjoy the cookies, and the book.
1 cup butter*
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
Beat (by hand during blizzards) until fluffy
1 ½ cup flour
1 ½ cup quick oats
1 t salt
1 t soda
Mix together well (also by hand)
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chopped dates
Drop 1” dollops on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown.
Sunshine’s oven is old, but new to me, so I checked the cookies after about 5 minutes to see how they were getting along. I recommend this method to anyone baking cookies aboard a boat for the first time. Saves on having to clean smoke off the cabin’s head liner. After a couple of batches you’ll be better able to judge your oven’s idiosyncrasies and set the timer accordingly. My oven seems to get hotter and hotter at one end and needs constant oversight. Like everything else during a blizzard.
* There is no substitute for butter aboard Sunshine. Because at least one of us admits to being a butter fiend.