Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blizzard of 2006 ~ Day 2.

continued from last week ….. The following is a journal entry from my first winter in my little farm house:

Thursday, December 21.
By the dim light of morning, still snowing, I surveyed my surroundings. The entire front end of Idgey, my Honda buddy, had disappeared up to middle of her windshield. There were three and four foot snow drifts, scalloped canyons and avalanche lips created by various trucks, horse trailers and storage sheds, wrapped around patches of bare dirt swept clean by the same winds that had sculpted the drifts. I was afraid that I might not be able to get out of the house and was amazed to find that the wind had whipped the snow right around my back door and the small patio was completely clear. Right in the middle of my large parking area, there was a crescent moon shaped patch of gravel with not a speck of snow on it.

But there are horses to feed!! I pulled my hooded sweatshirt down over my turtle neck and flannel shirt and pulled my thrift store snow-boarder pants up over my heavy sweat pants. I stepped into my knee high Muck boots, put on my old barn coat and wrapped a hooded scarf around my face. I opened the back door and let the dogs out ~ they were ecstatic. I, however, couldn’t keep my eyes open as the wind shot snow bullets straight into my eyeballs. Turning back into the house I grabbed an old fashioned pair of motorcycle goggles. I had almost put them into the garage sale box but was thankful to have them today. I stepped back outside and appraised the situation. The sidewalk leading out to the hay filled pole barn was buried under the same waist high snow drift which contained my car.

I followed the same route that I found last night in the middle of the storm. Heading west around a chiseled drift and past my propane tank, I crawled over the fence in the corner of the pen where my boarder horses live. I had put out a bale of hay last night and Joseph had asked me to put out another bale this morning. Digging out a hot-wire gate that was partially buried in a snow drift to access their hay storage shed, I wondered for a second whether or not the snow would negate or enhance the hot wire charge. Hummm? Now dropping into my horse pen, I saw how the north wind had whipped the snow over my pole barn and left an open area to the south. None of horses were standing in their shelter (?) but they were all out of the wind, so to speak. I opened another gate, walked through to my hay stash and grabbed large flakes of alfalfa and grass hay. I rubbed on each of the horses and little Celia, the donkey, even though they completely ignored me as they buried their heads in their breakfast. Every animal was accounted for and looked good. Assuming that staying warm in a blizzard must take a tremendous amount of energy I set out a double ration of feed. I was thankful to see that the wind had carved a canyon around the back of Joseph’s shed which allowed my horses easy access to their water trough. I walked through the canyon myself to make sure that the heater coil in the water tank was working ~ and it was.

Retracing my footsteps over fences and around snow drifts I headed back to my new sweet little house with heat, electricity and running water! Although I was already thinking of hot coffee and a sturdy breakfast, I was acutely aware of the need to be very careful. One wrong step ~ if for any reason I didn’t make it back inside the house ~ I would be a human popsicle before anyone found me.
Whew! Made it! Life is good!!!!!!

* annette

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