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So you scoffed at those HOA fees and the ” we will take care of everything” mantras of the  retirement communities.  If we had a  million dollar lock and leave carriage house we could be off to the  Caribbean right now.  Or at least  be sitting down in the dining room  and the consuming the Monday  special  and congratulating ourselves at the dinner table for  the lack of effort we have to put out in a historic blizzard. .

Instead we are here dealing with 32 inches of snow, a long driveway and all the nuances of our home  for our first winter.  This is where the rubber meets the road or the the snowblower meets the gravel driveway.  Choosing to  stay  independent in a single family home has responsibilities and  some new realities. Clearing outside vents for the furnace  and dryer was a priority.  We need more gutters to divert water  dripping on to front steps.  We may do better with buying a larger propane tank to be able to stock up. But the wonders of discovering that open concept also means you can do laps between the  kitchen and  dinning and living room.

We have planned ahead – the nice gentlemen that mow our lawn in the  summer are to show up and  plow the bulk of our driveway.  But equipment is breaking down everywhere and we will have to find another way.   Both our younger and older neighbors have been in touch to offer help. My biggest worry is  over exerting ourselves while we wait.  This amount of snow could not happen again for another 10 years or it could happen again next month.

So far all our systems are holding and there is no panic just  acceptance that this is part of the price of independence to have to depend on others  at times.   Seeing all this snow reminded me of being young ( who would have thought!) and building snow forts with my siblings.  I remember that feeling of being inside a snow fort of our own  making feeling both victorious and vulnerable at the same time.  Kind of a, I can’t believe I did this and what will happen next feeling.

But as the old saying goes your home is your castle,   but you have to be ready to defend it.