Wednesday, 6 January 2010

My other brother Daryl

freezing rain, snow, temps minus 6

We've fled to the Kingdom to the South. Vermont. And are huddled up in the Essex Inn and Spa. As you can see, it's a soft landing. We were actually booked to come here tomorrow, but the freezing rain kept coming, trees bowed down, power went out. And we skiddadled, which is my Olympic sport. It's actually a triathlon. Skiddadling, Massage, Gourmet meal. Followed by shopping, for those really in shape.

The problem at home, or really the final issue, was when the power went out. I must say it's a little frightening for those of us who went through the ice storm. And this is reminiscent of that. It really should not be freezing raining with temperatures this cold - but it is. An inversion of some sort. The ice has been building up for three days, and today seemed to be the tipping points, where trees started breaking. The pines along our drive had their boughs so low we could barely get the car underneath.

At the same time, it is staggeringly beautiful. A crystal world.

The contradiction we live - where the weather is both gorgeous and deadly.

So Pat and Tony are looking after the house and Trudy and we decided to come down a day early before the weather got really bad. What a relief to arrive. We assumed there was black ice under the road...not a bad assumption. Happily the freezing rain disappeared and turned into snow half way here.

The Essex Inn and Spa is actually the campus of the New England Culinary Institute. So far it is nice, the room is lovely with a fireplace...but the whole place lacks charm. However, the people (students?) seem really wonderful. I think part of the problem is the decoration isn't very inspired. Kind of drab. But the staff is warm and enthusiastic. Looking forward to trying the dinner.

Oh, it feels so good to be here!

Did a newspaper interview this morning, then Kirk and Jane came by with fabric for the living room (one we all adored but Michael didn't...we were spared having to beat him when Kirk realized the fabulous fabric was pure silk and would not survive long in our home.

Then the power went out. I realize here in Quebec we call power 'hydro' because for the most part it comes from huge power dams, water power, in the north. But someone did point out the rest of the world might not know what that means. I know in Ontario it's called hydro too...but not sure about other parts of the world. Though I'm sure you could figure it out. However, if someone said the 'wind' had gone out I'm not sure I'd conclude they had wind generated power and that's what they meant.

Sadly, the hydro went out about ten minutes before I was supposed to test the Skype for an upcoming conference call with a school. So will try for another test.

Hope you're well...will report on the Inn and Spa activities tomorrow. Have a radio interview with Shelagh Shapiro for her show 'Write the Book' 2pm.

Speak to you tomorrow.


Marjorie said...

The title of today's blog post made me smile. And then it made me wonder how many others would understand it.

I am happy to know that you are in New England if not actually in my part of it. Someday you MUST come a bit further south!

--Marjorie from Connecticut

Shelagh said...

I, too, smiled at today's blog title!

Was very interested in the terminology for "hydro" and "power" and "wind". The "translations" are much appreciated.

Hope your stay at the Essex Inn is restful, and the Skype test succeeds.

Thanks for posting your (to date) 2010 schedule. Stratford in August - awesome!!!!!!!! Can you bring Trudy????? Yes, yes, yes!! I seem to embarrass my husband(who then refuses to admit he knows me) by stopping to pet every dog within a mile of me. Have even been known to have him stop the car in order for me to pet a particularly lovely dog (flat-coated retriever, golden retriever, boxer, any dog weighing more than 65 pounds) who is walking his master.

Stay warm and dry.


lil Gluckstern said...

I think one has to have a lot of fortitude to live up north the way you do, and be a very good driver. I hated ice-so scary. Love your title, and I hope you enjoy your stay at the Inn.


Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

Yes, I wondered who would 'get' the title but figured those who didn't wouldn't mind - or might even do some research - and those that did would get a glad you all picked up on the reference.

Shelagh - we do the same thing - but must say I don't think we've ever actually stopped the car to pat a dog. Good for you!!!

And Lil, you're right about ice. It is scary. We're so lucky that, for the most part, we can pick and choose when we go out. And we have a fabulous vehicle. I feel for people who don't have a choice in either time or transportation.

Bev Stephans said...

Dear Louise,

Your comments about "Hydro vs Power" were quite entertaining. I used to spend my summers at Point Pelee National Park in Southern Ontario. My grandfather built a cottage there in the 1940's. I believe it was the last non commercial building there. All my friends in Ontario refered to the power as hydro and the poles that carried it were refered to hydro poles.

Alas, you can't live there anymore. The Canadian government operates it completely now. They have improved it with new beaches and wildlife tours.

Yours in pow....hydro,

Bev Stephans