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Frost on the garden

It happened. The first hard frost today. Luckily we harvested the garden (except for potatoes and kale) a couple of days ago. Lots of carrots, cabbages, cauliflower and green tomatoes. I'm gonna have to try the "green tomato in boxes" trick to see if they really do turn red. I'll keep you posted.

This year we finally had normal summer temperatures only breaking above the 70s once or twice. From what I read, they are predicting a cold winter. Last winter was pretty harsh, the coldest in 44 years. We had a couple of months' of -20 last year and I'm sure hoping that doesn't happen again this year. Sure makes me miss Port Protection winters where it's considered bad if you get into single digit temps.

In Port Protection, water lines are on top of the ground in arctic insulated pipes, Septic lines even run on top of the ground and aren't buried. There was only one year our water froze there. Hans was gone and it was just me at the cabin. The water and then the septic froze. My friend, Bud Baker, stopped by and I showed him what was going on. His response was, "Well, I don't know what to tell ya. I guess you'll have to wait until it thaws." I. Lost. It. If Bud couldn't fix it, I knew I was doomed. Bud left and showed back up a little while later with two 5 gallon containers of hot water (for the toilet) and another friend, Jerry. Those guys worked on the lines for quite a while and finallhy, voila, water and a flushing potty. We could have never survived in Port Protection the first couple of years without the kindness of our neighbors.

In Southcentral Alaska, my sons and I lived about 30 miles noth of Willow for a few years. There the septic lines were buried 12 feet deep and the water lines a minimum of 9 feet deep. Every year they would both freeze solid. Hauling water and an outhouse are necessities. When I was a kid, huge snow dumps and -40 were not uncommon temperatures. Chasing firewood is a nonstop task. One year I went through 15 cords of wood and still ran out in March. I don't miss those days. When I do it again, you know I'll be doing it smarter.

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