2008-10-05 21:12:54.000 – Deb Mastro, Museum Attendant
What light through yonder cloud breaks
Weather and Love
An unusual title for a comment, but now that my time living here on the summit is coming to an end, I realized that those two words sum up my experience here.
Mount Washington’s Summit has been called the home of the world’s worst weather, but I think it all depends on attitude. I love the weather changes and extremes that have been part of my life here. I arrived in May and my first day was clear, warm and one of the so called “perfect days“. When I came back four days later I had to borrow a down jacket, hat and gloves at the base garage. We drove up in four wheel drive and still had to stop to put chains on the tires of the F350 in order to get all the way up the Auto Rd. Heading back down the next day was more of the same only we had to plow through snow drifts to get to the base. I got out on the ride down to take some photos and fell into a drift so deep that I had to be pulled out! A great initiation for me! I have basked on the rocks in the sun on the clear days of summer, climbed the tower in 78mph wind in July, and been blown around on the ice covered deck in 60 mph wind in August while watching Mike deckboard on a piece of cardboard!. This week, my last this year, has been wonderfully exciting….. ice and snow, winds gusting to 94 mph, wind chill temps below 0, and the landscape blanketed in beautiful white. I loved it all.
But when I titled this comment Weather and Love, the love I’m writing about is the love I’ve developed for my “mountain family”. I live with the most wonderful people. They are considerate, funny, brilliant and all special in their own way. It’s been so much fun living with Stacey, Mike, Steve, Jeff, Jordan, Kyle, Lisa,Dennis, and Marty, the Cat.
Because of our different schedules, dinnertime, when we are all together and served delicious meals by our great volunteers, is the best time of the day. It’s always a great time with lots of interesting conversation, interruptions to go out to see the sunsets, and usually belly busting laughter. There have been many more magical moments too…….Like at 4am when I feel a tap on my shoulder and roll over to see Mike (the night observer) standing near my bunk with sparkling eyes, telling me to get up because the sunsrise is going to be extra special and then standing on the deck with him and hearing him whisper “Thank you sun, for coming back again this morning” Or when the interns come down to get me (the shop and museum are in the basement of the Sherman Adams Building) and tell me to get outside to appreciate the clouds and light, while they watch the shop for me. Or standing outside on the deck or tower to see the undercast with my summit family and feeling like we are alone on an island in the clouds, or star gazing at night. The visits from sweet Stacey when one of us just needs a little “girl talk” and tagging along with her in snow and wind to check the precip can. Or Steve telling me in his British accent to get out to experience the high winds…but no singing or dancing. What a wonderful crew, or shift as it’s called here. It’s been a privilege and joy to be part of the MWO summit staff. I love them!
PS I have also enjoyed getting to know all of the staff of the Mount Washington Observatory, both on the other shift and down in our headquarters in North Conway. We’ve had some great times together.And to BB, my supervisor…you’ve been great. Thank you.
Also thank you to all of the State Employees for your friendship and hospitality. It’s been real!
Deb Mastro, Museum Attendant