Living with Mother Nature

Christine Thomas is learning to live with the weather. Her cardinal rule: pay attention to Mother Nature – and be prepared for anything!

June 9, 2010 | | Blogs | Community | Leisure | Red Squirrel Musings

The weather is Mother Nature’s way of saying “pay attention!”

By Christine Thomas

Mother Nature has a way of taming the anal retentive soul. She tells you when and where your attention should be focused. There is no force of nature greater than Her to keep you on the straight and narrow!

Since moving to the country I have lived through snow in May and snow in October. I have played golf in early March and late December. I have been without power for several days on end. It makes you recognize that TO DO lists, like promises, are just made to be broken!

In the first three weeks of moving here, for example, a huge wind storm charged through our property. Three magnificent maple trees that lined our front yard toppled over. All of a sudden our secluded view was no more!

Three weeks later, a big wet cold front encased the valley, even though I had just shut down the fireplace (mistake #1), removed flannel sheets from the bed (BIG mistake #2) and most tellingly, assumed that spring had arrived.

Cardinal rule of rural living: DO NOT ASSUME ANYTHING!

And yet, in a few short months I had already forgotten my own cardinal rule!

Our “secluded” view. Photo by Christine Thomas

November 3rd: a massive wind storm pummelled the area. Rain became sleet which turned into ice. Roads closed, I couldn’t get home for 24 hours! (Note to self, always have packed overnight bag ready in car – year round!)

I finally get home just in time to welcome a huge snow fall, which arrives silently and accumulates throughout the nether hours. The tractor is buried in the big barn – big trouble – and is not seen until the following April. (Second note to self: get tractor out and ready in September, just in case!)

Then, predictability, the electricity went out. But not just during the winter months. We were hit spring, summer and fall. I went to a Ritchie Brothers auction and purchased a used generator. It is the best $450.00 I ever spent!

So you can see, my various TO DO lists grew exponentially those first few months. Living in these hills was and continues to be a humbling experience. Just when I think I’ve got it figured out, wham! Mother Nature throws another curve ball and I can almost hear her laughing: “Aha! Caught ya’ again!”

As a result, my mantra for rural living? Be prepared!


A chef, caterer, dog walker and novelist in training, Christine Thomas also claims mastery of forklifts, composting, car racing and Italian regional cuisine. Christine lives in Mono with her husband, dog and three cats.

POSTSCRIPT: After my previous blog post (see “The Comfort of To Do Lists”) I heard from personal friends who howled at my misadventures. They thought THEY were the only ones who lived by the Bible of lists! It would seem we are a secret society no more!

To Urbanite: Thank you for your brilliant comment [link] : When lists take over your life, it IS time to take a vacation! That being said, I recently cleaned out the car (spring cleaning) and found three lists! Good thing I had another list with me to transfer the forgotten items onto! (It never ends!)

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