Friday, December 12, 2008
As previously reported, the TH Daughter and I awoke this morning at the "Inn at the Bandstand," a gorgeous, ancient, and welcoming bed-and-breakfast in the center of Exeter, New Hampshire and a short walk to the admissions office of Phillips Exeter Academy ("Exeter" to the cognoscenti). Last night's New England ice storm had deprived the Inn, the town of Exeter, and virtually all of southeast New Hampshire of electricity shortly after midnight, and by dawn the temperature in our room could not have been 50 degrees. Fortunately, the Inn by the BS had installed a gas line into the 202 year-old fireplace in our room, and with that ablaze we reheated enough to drive the cold from our fingers and toes.
This was the view through our rainswept window at roughly 7:30 this morning:
If you have experience with ice storms, you can see from the thickness of the coating on the branches that this was a bad one. We learned, after we ventured out, that it had done tremendous damage to trees and power lines. The power lines you can fix, but there are many great trees that were destroyed or forever damaged into asymmetry.
Anyway, after an ad hoc but tasty breakfast we bid goodbye to the Inn at the Bandstand and drove the short distance to Phillips Exeter Academy.
Exeter the school did not have any more power than anywhere else in the region, but a silly inconvenience like no electricity does not shut down a New England boarding school. The admissions office was dark and cold in temperature, but the people inside were bright in attitude and warm in spirit and carrying on with business as usual, but for the winter coats and candles everywhere. I let myself imagine that there was a day when Exeter must have conducted all its admissions interviews by candlelight.
In any case, after the TH Daughter did her thing we strolled around in the drizzle for twenty minutes or so before heading off to Andover. In honor of Mindles and the several other Phillips Exeter Academy alumni known to read this blog, herewith selected photographs of Exeter on ice.
In the interest of completeness, I'll put up the pictures of "Andover on ice" tomorrow. Then, I am sure you will be relieved to learn, the prep school photography will have reached its natural conclusion. At least for the time being.
POST-SCRIPT: As of this evening, more than one million homes and businesses in New England still do not have power. With temperatures dropping far below freezing tonight, people who depend on electricity to drive their heating systems are going to have a challenging time of it.
Exeter has two hockey rinks but no horses. To the best of my knowledge Andover has no horses either.
Silly me, I went to the Exeter web site and of course it was down.