The weather has warmed considerably. Nights are still cold, in the -30°C range, but the days are barely hitting -10°C now. Of course that shift in temperature brings fresh snow, and freezing rain.
Niece1 and Niece2 took the Littles, the kids and Sally back to 'school' when the weather broke, while Husband, Brother, Dad, Diego and the Bigs went ice fishing. It didn't go well.
The snow is too deep to make it back to the good lakes, so a lot of people are out on the lakes by the highway. They were lucky enough to find several previously drilled holes to fish in, that only needed the fresh ice cut, but the lakes are really being over fished right now. Dad managed to catch one small pike, Diego got a larger one, but the others have no luck.
Chatting with others in the area they learn that there is mail in town! There's no organized 'postal service', but people have started taking pen to paper, passing letters on to whomever happens to be going the right direction. A few people in town have heard from relatives from the south, and one got a letter from Manitoba. The news in general is that there is no government, no corporations, no military coming to the rescue. There are self appointed local sheriffs in some towns, and maybe even a mayor, but mostly just people trying to get by.
Home alone for the day, I walk to Sil's for a visit. She's been busy knitting and making rugs through the cold spell. She's nearly out of material for rugs and completely out of yarn. She has their floor completely covered, with more rugs of various sizes covering furniture and walls. She may be able to trade some of them at the store. Their food stores are running low, since it's been too cold to hunt. I tell her I'll send over some beef when the men return. We decide to walk to Mom's together.
We take the back trail and stop in at the cabin by the creek to see Lisa. She's happy for the company. She's been keeping busy whittling and has started to develop some skill. She's made a few wooden spoons and is working on a ladle. She and Sally have dug out a root cellar under her bed, giving them more room for storage and more clay to fill the chinks. Today she's busy cutting firewood to replenish her pile.
We find Mom outside in her garden shed. She doesn't usually start her own seeds in pots, but has started getting things organized for this year. Dad plans to put a small woodstove in the greenhouse and start tomatoes and cucumbers from seed. I tell her I've finished sorting and organizing my seeds, and have tomatoes and peppers started already. She gets out her seed stash and starts sorting while we're there.
Mom and Dad's garden has always been pretty simple- tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, peas, onions, turnip and lettuce. They grew potatoes last year, and hopes they left enough in the ground to bring up another crop this year. They want to try a few cabbages and some carrots this year, but otherwise don't plan to try much new. I'm sure I have enough seed for that.
Walking home I stop and stare at the back field. I want a new greenhouse put up in the spring, to keep the squash and pumpkins separated. In truth, it probably isn't far enough apart for proper seed saving, but for now it's the best that I can do. We'll need to fence off the clearing too, to keep as much of the wildlife out as possible.
When the others return and share the news, I send Brother and Sally home with a couple of roasts and some stew meat. Hearing that mail is moving gives me a bit of a thrill. This one small service could be the beginning of a return to civilization.
The Littles had a good day at the community center. They played outside most of the day. It seems all of the children had too much pent up energy from being cooped up the past week or so to sit still and do any work. I laugh as they tell me all of their stories. It's nice to see them getting along for a change.
After another meal of stew- the pot is never ending, always on the woodstove now- we all head off to bed and read.