Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Winter Moments


IMG_5456 (2)

Some of those moments seem like an eternity.  Towards the end of last week, we woke up to 8” of snow on the ground.  At least it was light and powdery.  Our plow guy showed up faithfully.  Dave and I both did some shoveling of paths to things we need to access like our basement compartments, the office steps and the dumpster.  Dave cleared a nice “garden” of exposed grass for Maggie to take care of business in.

Frozen River 01042014

The Musconetcong River is frozen again.  The above was taken a few days ago when we were experiencing our first round of subzero temperatures.  We had a thaw and then plummeted again the past couple of days.  Today this big mass is more slushy but is freezing solid again.  There are now also “icebergs” floating down from upstream to join up with this big mass.  It’s beautiful and fascinating to see so much ice floating cheerfully in our part of the river.


IMG_5460 (2)

The geese don’t seem to be too impressed with the state of the river.



Dave cleared a path across the footbridge to the mill.  This is taken from about the middle of the bridge looking back to the parking lot where we’re parked.

IMG_5446 (2)

My man hard at work!



My man being silly!


So last night we were hit with the polar vortex, i.e. Arctic hurricane.  Temperatures dropped below zero and the wind howled and shook our rig all night and well into today.  I got about 1.5 hours sleep total.  No, I wasn’t frightened but more p.o.’d about not being able to sleep and thinking about everything freezing up.

This morning around 7 AM it was –1 with a Real Feel temp of –20.  Anticipating frozen tank valves, I had emptied our tanks yesterday and put antifreeze down ‘em.  We did have a day in between freeze-ups where we both were able to shower. 

We have been busy – Dave more than me – today dealing with weather-related rig issues.  We have the furnace going, a supplemental heater in the basement (took off a dividing wall so the heat would hopefully get further along in the basement), making futile attempts to thaw out the outside water valve, testing to see if the water pump and/or lines/pipes had thawed out throughout the day, changing propane tanks, etc..

Here it is almost 8 PM, the temp is 6F with a Real Feel of –14, and we’re still frozen up in the rig.  No flowing water and, even if it was flowing, no way to empty the tanks if they needed it.  We finally get up to 32F Thursday, 39F on Friday and then increasing a bit for a few days.  Looks like Friday may be our first realistic window of opportunity to have water again.

Of course, this means no cooking . . . ‘cause washing a lot of pots and pans just isn’t going to happen!  We can do a few dishes in the office sink, but want to minimize that.  We have soups, etc. and I made kolaches yesterday in anticipation of freezing up.

Every Winter we question why we are here in New Jersey.  We’re again looking at our original goals, dreams, finances, opportunities . . . realistic and perhaps foolhardy.  We won’t be making any rash decisions, but it may be time to change locations come Spring; we’re hopeful at getting a similar work situation further South.  Might be time to take a 6-month or 12-month break entirely and get back on the road.  We’re not getting any younger and Life is short.  We have the option of taking a break and then getting another assignment when one arises.

We are grateful our rig is warm and snug and that we have a restroom (albeit kinda rough) in the office trailer with flowing water.  I’ve got a tower heater aimed inside it and will start the adventure of getting a sink wash-up this evening.  I usually take a shower right before bed . . . not only does it relax and freshen me up for crawling under the covers but it symbolically washes away the stress (if there is some and lately there has been) and events of the day.  Sorta clears the slate for a good night’s sleep and rejuvenation.  I need to sleep tonight.

Stay warm and safe!

Thanks for stopping by!









  1. I just can't imagine those conditions in an RV. It's been cold just about everywhere the last few days, but your conditions are pretty drastic. I think I'd have to bail out. That is if you could even get out. You are stronger than I.

    1. Judy, I really don't know about being stronger; I'll just say I'm a couple of years younger. :) Thanks for your words!

  2. We were one month in Catskill, NY last winter before Harry retired and we could head south. I cannot imagine several full winters spent in the northeast. The winter weather wears on you after awhile,even when you're not living in an rv. You've stuck it out there much longer than I would have wanted to.

  3. Jessica, I remember when you guys were in your rig but still in NY. Ya'll toughed it out and did great! Winter conditions here are not ideal by a long shot, but we continue to weigh the pros and cons. Obviously money is one of them; however, there are many other factors which carry just as much weight. If I could transplant this entire situation to, say, North Carolina or even TN for a while . . . ah well . . . :)

  4. I questioned why I was sitting her in San Antonio freezing, too. But I am here with my daughter and her family because of my new granddaughter. They just moved here and I am babysitting while they find new jobs and get settled. At the RV park I am staying at they told us to open our gray tank and to drip the water in the RV so that it would be constantly flowing. I hope you can find a situation that suits all of your needs.

  5. Boy that sounds more severe than anything I have ever experienced even when I lived in winter cold Ohio. You guys are amazing! Does it get this cold in Scotland?? I agree, it's time to start looking for a good gig south after doing some well deserved traveling. Life is SO short. How well we know that. Get out there and enjoy. No matter your age you have to go for it!

    1. Sherry, no, it really doesn't get this cold in Scotland. Of course, there are fewer nice days over there in general. I have two "dream scenarios." The first is to take off, say, 2 months to travel . . . like take I-95 down the eastern seaboard, stopping along the way here and there - like in Florida - have a 3-4 week stay in Texas to hook up with friends and show Dave some more of Texas and then return here. The second is to be able to make enough $$ with online work (and possibly supplement with work for our site in campgrounds) to just go where we want. We'll see what 2014 brings. Even just keeping on with our routine (taking a holiday during the year) here is okay, too. You're right, though, Life is short.


Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment!