Lessons Learned at -20° F

ThermometerAs one from “away” here in Maine, I have been warned repeatedly about the terrible winters here.  Up until this week, we have been pretty lucky – a couple of 8″ snow falls, cool temps, but nothing worse than the PA winters I have experienced all of my life.  Well, the thermometer dipped a bit this week – with temperatures dropping past the -20° F mark.

Overall, we fared pretty well by keeping the wood stove in the house well fed and threw an extra blanket on each of the beds – after all, our house has experienced this every year for the past 25 or so…

But, my office, which is separate and above the garage,  was a bit of a different story.  In my haste to move my consulting operations to Maine, I installed a nice little Jotul 602 wood stove as the sole source of heat – without any back-up.  Usually a bit chilly in the morning until the stove got things warmed up, but functional.  Well, Monday morning was a bit different with temperatures in my office at about 9° F – a little tough to work in.  What’s worse, the computers , printers and scanners didn’t like it much either.  Hard drives refused to spin up and computer fans screamed like banshees when I woke them up.

IMG_2046It took almost 4 hours with the little wood stove wide open to get to the point where I could take off my coat (the hat stayed on all day) at about 40° F.  Although the space is well insulated, I am slowly finishing off the walls and ceilings -very slowly.  Hopefully next year will be a bit different, but I still think that I will opt for a propane back-up – just to keep things above 40° F so the little stove doesn’t have to work so hard.

From what I hear, this was probably the worst of it.  Even the few native Mainers that I know were complaining about the cold.  Although, there were still a few testosterone laden folks walking around in tee shirts without coats – guess it proved something, not sure what.

Spring is coming and I am looking forward to it.  I thank the spirits here for offering  a very mild first winter – just a taste, but also a lesson on what could have been a lot worse.  They say February still has the highest snow fall and can be pretty brutal – but, I am set.  Snow shoes and skis at the ready and my portable computer available for work in the main Maine house from an easy chair next to the fire.

1 thought on “Lessons Learned at -20° F

  1. Mark Watson

    Sounds like a great place even with the crazy temps!! Carry on and prayers up! Spring is around the corner. Well that’s what people are saying here in Hamburg. Spring is the worst for me allergy wise that’s why I love my winter time. Keep us posted on any plans of a x country trek!!



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