Recent adventures

We’ve had a few adventures lately (and the fact that these count as adventures tells you something about our lives).

A couple of weeks ago we went out exploring one evening: we picked a direction and drove until we saw a place that looked good for dinner. We ended up at a small seafood joint in Ipswich called the Clam Box. It’s a local dive not unlike Haraseeket in Freeport. I had fried clams and scallops, E. had fried haddock, and both were delicious. Definitely a place to go back to.

Also on the food front, we discovered another grocery store not too far away in the opposite direction from the one we have been frequenting (when not walking to the local store in Georgetown, which has a good selection but is slightly pricy for regular bulk shopping). It’s in the same chain as our previous store (Market Basket) and has much the same layout and selection, but it’s a little bigger and a little newer, so it has a slightly better selection and is a little cleaner and in better shape. The roads between here and there are also a bit better than the route to the old store. I think it may well become our new regular store.

We’ve had a number of winter storms come through, but the worst of them hit last Thursday. It was windy and rainy all day, but in the evening, starting around 9, the wind really picked up. I could hear the sound of limbs breaking and crashing down in the woods around us but I couldn’t see what was happening and didn’t fancy strolling into the woods to check it out. E. had to stop and clear some fallen branches out of the road to get home. After she came in, the power went out for a few seconds then came back on. We gathered up some candles and flashlights just in case and about a half hour later the power went out and stayed out. We went to bed by candlelight.

The next morning, things had calmed down but the power was still out. We walked around outside clearing away the biggest fallen limbs and branches. We found that two big old pines had come down– one in our back woods and one on the unbuilt land next door. If that one had fallen in a different direction, it could have come right through our bedroom window.

Limbs down in the woods

I've been worrying about this old dead pine since we moved into the house. Here's one trunk I don't have to worry about any more.

The good news is: our firewood problem is solved. The bad news is: here's your hatchet, start chopping.

We built a fire in the fireplace since the heat was out and E. settled down in blankets and three pairs of woolen socks while I headed for Salem. All the way through Georgetown to the highway I didn’t see any lights on and there were many places where trees had fallen by the side of the road or been cleared out of the road. Down by the water, somebody’s yacht had been blown ashore and stranded on the rocks.

Down in Peabody and Salem the lights were on, but I saw a number of trees and limbs down. Given the circumstances, I’m impressed with how many of my students made it to class. E. and I had agreed that she would call if and when the power came back on and that if I didn’t hear from her by the time I was leaving Salem, I should pick up some food to go since we couldn’t easily cook. (On a side note, I do miss having a wood stove for the heat and the cooking option, but we don’t really have a convenient place to put one, and my desire to have one is not so strong as to inspire me to try and fit one in somewhere, so I think even after this experience we will go on living without.) I had not heard from E. by the time I was pulling out of the faculty parking lot in the afternoon, so I figured I needed to hunt us up some food. I was just trying to decide between sushi and Italian when E. called, saying that the power had just come back on. By the time I got home, the house was nice and warm and we were able to microwave some lamb stew for dinner.

I gather we were among the lucky ones as parts of northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire are still without power. Living on a dead-end dirt road in a small town, I was afraid we might be among the last to get our lights back on, but at least this time we dodged that bullet.


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One Response to “Recent adventures”

  1. Ted Leach Says:

    We lived in Ispwich for several years before moving out here to NY. I miss the Clam Box. If you get back there in season, be sure to check out White Farms Ice Cream on the same road. Glad you made it through the storm okay — things we’re bad out here in our region, though we were similarly lucky.

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