Sunday, December 20, 2009
Last night was majestical…there is no word in the English language that articulates what I experienced. So, my husband came up with: ‘majestical’.
At 6:00 pm we received a call that a friend was stuck on our hill in his suburban, with our 16 foot trailer attached. He decided to return the trailer as a bad storm was beginning. Half-way up the hill he started careening backward. He ended up ditching the trailer and then jack-knifing his suburban. Jeff and Leif went down to pull him out.
As I finish off dinner the power kept flashing off and on. The “snow globe” snow that had fallen softly throughout the afternoon turned to a torrential down pour of snow that was rapidly accumulating on the power lines. I was warming some mushroom chicken that I had cooked the previous day, praying the power stayed on long enough.
The chicken, by the way, was a home-grown, Cornish-cross hen raised by our friends, the Cress’. When Sarah and Jesse “off-ed” the 22 meat chickens they raised this summer, we helped out and in return they gifted us some dead fowl. Jeff helped slaughter, dip and pluck and I helped with the inside cleaning and wrapping. I couldn’t eat chicken for a couple of moons and now that I am feeling better about poultry, I decided to give it a go. Killing, preparing and cooking a chicken not purchased in a store is a new experience for this city-reared girl, but it turned out great! I brined the bird overnight in a salt, brown sugar, cayenne pepper solution. I then cut it up (also news on this front: I finally figured out how to cut out that piece that has the wish bone in it. My Gran always fried this piece and it was my favorite. For years I have been trying to figure out how she cut the breast in such a way to get a piece with the wish bone intact…I finally did it!), browned it, and baked it in a mushroom gravy.
When Jeff walked in the door at 6:30, and thankfully sat down to his hot supper, the power went out and stayed out. We ate a romantic meal by candle light and then listened to daddy read Kipling’s, The Jungle Books. It was a great evening spent together without electricity and all of the distractions that come with it.
Shortly after 9:00 pm the power came back on. We put the boys to bed and the snow was continuing to fall. At this point it looked like we had at least six inches of snow fall. Jeff went to work at the station and I settled in for the night. A few hours later, he bounded into the bedroom and said, “You have got to come outside!”
He took me outside to see the most beautiful sight I have yet to see in Alaska. It was a perfectly still full moon night. The wind had lain down and a foot deep, blanket of snow shrouded everything. The snow was soft, voluminous and cloud like. The trees looked like a huge vat of icing had been poured on them. Some of them were so heavy with snow their smaller limbs were breaking. After the raucous storm the world had fallen completely silent. The moon light was bright enough to read by. The blue moon light reflected off of the newly fallen snow to create an ethereal world of winter wonder…it was ‘majestical’. The sight was so spell binding that neither of us could speak for nearly ten full minutes. We stood there and whispered in hushed tones about the beauty we beheld. About the time Jeff turned to head back to work, we looked up to see a cow moose not twenty yards away. She stood soundless and stalwart, staring us down. Looking at us with knowing eyes she seemed to question whether we could truly appreciate the world in which she lives.