Although Hurricane Elsa was not much of a hurricane once it reached us, we got a lot of rain. Lots and lots and lots of rain! Three weeks before the official storm, we were also pelted daily with rain, rain, rain. Every day was dark and cloudy, and the sun only occasionally shone silvery white through the thick clouds. It feels oppressive, and I missed the bright sunshine.
It was impossible to dry laundry, and I resorted to hanging laundry in front of the dying cook fire at night, and setting it aside during the day. Mold was every where. Each morning I would scrub surfaces down with vinegar, and in a couple of days they would be powdery blue and blooming with mold again.
With all the rain and the already soaked earth, there was no where for the water to go, and after a particularly heavy band of rain, water seeped under the floorboards of the kitchen. Ethan flew home from New York City where he has been working to pull up the wet floorboards and replace them with fresh ones. It wasn’t terrible – only two pieces of plywood, and everything in the kitchen is designed to be easily movable to help with spring cleaning and the annual re-whitewashing of the walls to keep them fresh.
We lost power, of course. We are at the end of a shaky powerline, with only a few people, so we are always losing power to lesser storms and it takes a bit for it to come back. I had already filled up plenty of water, for us and for washing, and the animals, too. It was a very wet, miserable day that day, and the goose water refilled itself with all the rain. The cats sat about sulkily and peered unhappily out the door. We got out our candles we had dipped for Imbolc, and were cozy by the fire.
I always feel smug when we lose power and still have our stove. True, you have to work for it, and source your own wood and cut and split and haul – but there is freedom here. The freedom to harvest your own cooking/heating/drying source. We still had hot water, and hot food, and dry laundry (sort of).
It makes you really appreciate the little conveniences we have when they are taken away. Running water, for example – quite useful. Washing dishes is not nearly so quick and easy without it.
The best thing about all the rain were the beautiful mushrooms that sprouted up all over the place. All shapes and colors and sizes – we went about marveling at them in between rain showers.
And best of all were all the lactarius and chanterelles we found! Better than lemonade, when life gives you a torrential rain storm, enjoy a pan of fried mushrooms: