I honestly thought I could get through my last few winter weeks on the farm without a single snowstorm. I'm also that girl that never thought it would rain on her wedding day and got married outside on the beach.
Naturally, it poured.
And we got 22 inches of snow in Duxbury this past weekend.
The snow made for a picturesque ride down to the farm on Monday, especially since Berg made the call to put us on the tide at 6:45 a.m. We arrived to find the sun rising over the snow-covered beach and our Oysterplex trimmed in icicles.
There was a lot of busy work involved with that much snow. A2, Quinn (who's back in town for a few days on winter break) and I ran up to the shop to grab the farm truck only to find it completely snowed in. We shoveled it out (at one point, Billy Bennett stopped to watch us shovel and yell out: "Not what you signed up for, was it Erin?") and ran it back down to the water so we could pick up the cages, which Berg and Chris had hauled out of the water for us. We made a few trips, getting several dozen cages out and stored away in the process. Our short day ended when the tide came up -- we celebrated our mini success with a big breakfast at Persy's.
Last week, we had purposely put a massive pile of bags into the cooler so that we could all take some time off for Christmas. Last Thursday and Friday were impressive: Despite sub-freezing temps, Pops (who is also back for winter break), Will, and Berg washed a ridiculous number of crates so we could load up the truck and get this huge stack of oysters packed away. Hopefully Santa is delivering a few bags like these to you and yours this week.
Monday was also the Island Creek Christmas party, a raucous affair that started at 4 pm and ended well past midnight. We set up a raw bar in the shop and a liquor bar in the office which made for a number of freezing-cold sprints from one venue to the next.
It was a wild night for the whole family. Skip pulled out half a case of champagne which went down like water with our glass perron. A2 found out that despite a lot of practice, he still can't beat Skip in a shucking contest. And late, late into the night, we all came face to face with Don Merry's ferocious dexterity with a hose. Dave and I left the scene soaking wet and laughing our heads off around 11:30.
This week, Dave and I are spending some time in Knoxville with my Murray side of the family (the 15-hour drive went well - our usually carsick dog, Rex, managed to pitch a no-hitter). While we won't be eating any oysters (my expecting sis-in-law Allison wouldn't be allowed to eat them anyway - yay!) we've got plenty of snowy Duxbury memories to get us through the week. Plus, I know somewhere in Charlotte, our friends the Williams are shucking and slurping a few dozen Island Creeks on our behalf. (Thanks, Jim!) Also looking forward to a visit from my sis Shannon and her husband, Brian, so we can toast the upcoming arrival of their new, adopted daughter Gracyn. Yes, 2010 is looking to be a very baby-filled year.
Speaking of babies, the Wall Street Journal did a nice job capturing the story of Island Creek in its infancy in this blog post (unfortunately, they misspelled Skip's name... but the rest of it is accurate and fun to read).
Finally, a quick note of thanks for keeping up with Shucked. Through the ups and downs, the seed, the harvest, and the cold days of winter, it's been an absolute joy to chronicle, especially knowing you're out there going through it all with me. Here's hoping your holidays are filled with family, love, and plenty of Island Creek oysters.