First Thunderstorm Of Spring

April 5, 2023

It is predawn, the wind is strengthening as the day enters, it is beginning to roar and rattle. We are to receive freezing rain this morning, it seems the storm is rising now. I glance at the clock. Attila will arrive at work any minute now, to the east, miles from here. I find myself hoping he has arrived at his destination safely, before the storm. The worst of it should have dissipated before he returns to travel the roads. Ah, now there is lightning, and thunder, and rain. The morning progresses, the temperature is 5C, so it seems the freezing rain that might have been has not materialized. Thank goodness.

The day lies before me, quiet and available. In my mind a list of activities begin to order themselves into a linear line of time. What a pleasure daily tasks bring.

Before sitting down to write this entry, one of those activities captured me in the kitchen. Switchel, or Haymaker’s Punch, is Attila’s preferred workday beverage. I make it from simple ingredients, sugar, apple cider vinegar, ginger powder, diced ginger root, and filtered water. It is a sugary drink, but Attila needs this energy boost in his physically demanding job. He also needs additional salt, which he consumes in plenty in homemade pickles, and pickled peppers. A nice aspect of Switchel is that if left at room temperature it will ferment, and is quite delicious. It seldom lasts long enough to reach the stage of fermentation though, a new batch is needed almost weekly.

I am a morning person. I awake instantly in the morning, immediately engaged with the business of the day. My best hours are the early morning hours. By mid-afternoon I begin to fade. The ebb and flow of my days reflect these physical attributes. I’ve yet to live with anyone with the same or similar physical rhythms. Attila is decidedly not an early morning person, nor were my children. In childhood these rhythms were difficult to discern, as we lived on a farm. The farm laid out our days before us; I never thought to question or complain.

In addition to having made Switchel early this morning, one other task needs to be completed. We are having Salmon Burgers for supper tonight, and I will need to bake burger buns. We have used sliced homemade bread for our burgers, but the buns offer a superior culinary experience. Attila would also like Sausage Burgers this coming weekend, so the buns will be needed for that meal as well. The vegetables we eat with these burger meals are always provided by my home canned Coleslaw, made with our garden cabbage, and peppers.

I have worked my ways through what seems like mountains of paper records, producing five plastic shopping bags full of paper to burn. The job is not complete though, I am beginning to go through all the obscure little storage areas that contain paper documents, sorting, sorting, sorting, and purging, purging, purging. This task needed to be done when we moved, when my former filing system fell victim to the chaos of the move to this very small house. Goodness, we have been here almost seven years, and I am just now getting organized again!

The paper records that remain will dwindle over time, as most records are now digital, taking up little room.

The discarded paper records will accompany us to the first visit to the Camp, where I will spend a day or two burning, burning, burning. In early spring the swamp is full, so there is a water source to fill the buckets I keep near the fire pit in case they are needed. To date, with all of my burning of stumps, dead trees, and fallen branches, I have never needed to use those handy buckets of water, but better safe than sorry. On our first visit to the Camp I will setup the rain barrel, which collects the water from the roof of Winnie the outhouse for our composting toilet. That provides easily accessible gallons of water all summer long.

I am thinking my next purging project will be technology focused. I tend to keep everything, such as the digital camera I had in the 1990s. There are drawers of cables and gizmos garnered over the last fifty years. So much has become redundant as technology replaces itself at an accelerating speed.

My sewing project remains set up on my desk. I am hoping that it captures my interest when the paper purge has waned.

Attila is looking to expand the garden this summer, in view of the current rise in food prices, and lack of availability of some products. The cases of full canning jars are quickly becoming cases of empty canning jars, as we prepare meals though these last three months, before our garden produce becomes available again.

April 6, 2023

Another early morning. I love the colour of the sky as dawn approaches, no matter the weather, it is steely grey/blue, contrasting with the silhouettes of the trees. It is windy again this morning.

Why two entries here today? Yesterday, as I was getting yesterday’s entry ready to post, the thunder and lightning persuaded me to shut down my computer, and to unplug it. Around 10:30 a.m. the power went down, and down it stayed until 4:20 p.m. No digital activity for me!

I love the house when the power is down. The quiet is wraps me in a thick blanket of peace, the house offers up its secret sounds. The sound of the rain, the thunder, the flashes of lightning, came to me in bolder outlines.

Ginger was at first startled and uncertain about the thunder and lightning. His head would pop up as he slept on the stool beside me. He would look out the window, then at me. I would gently explain to him that everything was OK. He accepted my assurances, laying down his head and returning to his slumber. Eventually he elicited no response to either the thunder or the lightning.

I had planned on baking burger buns yesterday, but had decided early in the morning, as the storm worsened, to postpone the project for another day. I suspected we might lose our power supply.

The heating system is electric, so when the power goes out, there is no heat. The house was 21.5C when the power failed. Six hours later, the temperature had dropped to 18.5C, a three degree drop. Considering that it was 3C out of doors, with wind and driving rain, this was a pleasant surprise. After four hours I began to add layers of clothing to remain totally comfortable. When the power came back on the furnace, AKA The Toaster, kicked in and brought the temperature in the house back up to 21.5C within twenty minutes. I found myself peeling off those extra layers. I love our new heating system!

My day ended up being a very busy one, as I unearthed yet another box of documents to sort through. It was sorting, and filing or discarding, all day long. There were periods of time that I had to stop my activity, because the sky was so dark, and the light so dim, that I could not read the pages. By the time Attila arrived home from work I was almost through the whole box.

My quest to gather up all errant documents, to sort, file or discard them, will continue. In this small house I’ve been stashing things away willy-nilly, wherever I could find a space for them. I am finding records in all sorts of silly places! Out of sight, out of mind!

I’ve renewed our burning permit for the Camp, so that the discarded documents can be dealt with when the opportunity arises, and the weather permits.



Updated on Thu, Apr 6, 6:35 AM
9 °C
Mostly cloudy
Wind 14 W km/h
Humidity 99 %
Visibility 17 km
Sunrise 6:40 AM
Wind gust 21 km/h
Pressure 101.5 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 7:40 PM


“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.”
Charles M. Schulz
1922 – 2000

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Joan Lansberry

Good luck with the sorting! We have recycling here, so I’d just put all the unwanted papers in the bin for recycling. You don’t have that in your area?


We had some goodly thunderstorms the other day, too. In a way it’s almost fun, the long extended rumbles of thunder carrying over the water. The dogs don’t think so, though.

We made it up to 17C yesterday. It’s supposed to be cooler today and tomorrow, but in a few days we may actually make 22!

I’m doing a spring countdown via flowers: snowdrops… crocuses… now waiting on tulips, daffodils, and forsythia.