~ fence posts are almost buried ~
Recently I posted I might take a long break from blogging and it may still happen but not sure when. Saturday, my left ACL tore and I've been advised to have surgery. That'll happen when I find someone to do the surgery; I'm still researching while both knees are tightly wrapped when doing chores. This morning, someone e-mailed to ask how I was doing in this snowstorm/blizzard. Here's my edited reply:
~ waiting for breakfast ~
All is well here; going to barn, feeding horses and barn cats 2xday. Climbing into hay loft to toss down 60-75 pound bales of good alfalfa hay so the horses can have quality hay along with their round bales. I've got the wood stove fired up, propane fireplaces fired up, oil furnace fired up...the only thing not fired up is me.
The house temps are like the dang tropics and much better than the 48 degrees F it used to be in my bedroom (when the furnace was broken and I had no idea...grief is a frightening thing...in hindsight).
~ deep snow drifts ~
Yesterday, I took a toes up between feedings and John Fisher cleaned out my driveway as a kind surprise. THANK YOU JOHN! There were/are snow drifts to my knees...yeah, speaking of knees, both are wrapped tightly and, Thank God, have held. Who needs Kings Dominion when I've got the Ranger in 4-wheel drive, yelling at the dogs beside me to "STAY STEADY!"? At one point I got stuck in a drift, furiously switching the steering wheel back and forth to work my way out, I found myself yelling, "PUSH, JESUS, PUSH!" And you know what? He must have because I got out of the drift! (PTL!)
~ Adam ~
This morning I made it to the barn, heard a noise, turned around and it was Adam (neighboring farm worker), climbing out of his truck, smiling broadly and shouting, "HONEY, I'M HOME!" He checked, then started, the tractor while I loaded the bucket with square hay bales. He drove to each horse lot and we tossed hay to them then I climbed into the loft to throw down more hay (I like being prepared for the next feeding.). Adam cleaned my barn lot, both driveways and a portion of the yard of snow...the snow is now stacked 8 feet deep in the barn lot. I brought him to the house, made him sit in front of the wood stove, gave him hot cocoa to both thaw and warm him, then wrote him a check. I was soooo happy to write that check because my knees were screaming like babies before going to the barn! My morning plan was to clear a portion of the yard of drifts to make using the Ranger easier but Adam's plan was so much better! Thank you, Adam!
~ notice drifts in relationship to front wheels ~
After Adam left, I called to check on my parents then sweatered up the dogs and we all went back to the barn to do a second feeding. We finished, came to the house and sat down to eat a Mrs. Somebody or other pot pie, cleaned up and prepared to settle down and knit which...didn't happen. The VDOT driver came to back porch, half frozen, needing assistance because some IDIOTS (yes, I AM shouting!!) thought it would be fun to ride around and take pictures. They ended up two miles down my dead end road with their Suburban rear end plunked down in a huge ditch while the front end was stuck so far in the air one could walk underneath. VDOT plow didn't have chains so I sweatered up the dogs (for the third time today), got my knees wrapped (for the third time today) and we went to the Ranger (bless Dave's name and memory for buying that Ranger for me!). I drove all of us...dogs aren't stupid, they ride up front...to my garage where we found a suitable chain then I drove VDOT driver to his snow plow. He got in the plow and I followed on the road he'd already cleared. Seems the "folks" were elderly (which is what I thought I was so they must be ancient!) and we weren't sure how they were doing after a 30 minute wait. If need be, I would offer them a warm meal, hot liquid and a bed for the night but all the while hoping they were able to continue home. My face, all too plainly, shows my thoughts and my thoughts weren't very kindly toward people who would go joy riding in a blizzard putting themselves, and most of all others, in danger.
No, I did not hurry. They had heat and it would do no one (least of all me) any good if I hurried, slipped and finished tearing my ACL. I brought the VDOT driver inside, put him in front of the wood stove while I got the dogs and I ready.
~ VDOT ~
At the bottom of the hill we met Jim, whose son/family live in the head of the Cove. He pulled over to let us know he had a chain and pulled those folks out of the ditch. That was no mean feat because Jim, due to health problems, isn't supposed to stress himself! (GO JIM!!) As Jim was relaying his message, the VDOT supervisor arrived so Jim left and I turned around to go home. As I pulled alongside the supervisor I opened my door and said, "I don't get to have any fun!" He started laughing and said he'd been pulling people out of ditches all day long so one more wasn't any big deal. Both men thanked me for my help and I reminded them they could always come to the house for warmth, food, hot liquid or sanctuary. Those men (and some women) have a difficult, frightening job and I like being available should they need help. The Deputy Sheriff's Dept knows the same; I like helping the folks who are helping keep me safe.
~ the header photo in today's blizzard ~
A while back my brother asked me, "It's not like you have an actual job; what do you do all day?" I just laughed and said, "Come to the farm and try to keep up."
And, as I wind down...I look out the window and my neighbor is still out feeding his cattle. He's a mile away but I can see his lights as he spreads out either hay or silage so his cattle will have food for this dark and frigid night. One of the largest life lessons I've learned on this farm is...the work is never finished. A farmer only reaches a stopping point and then...stops. I've always strived to be as prepared as possible for any storm and then I sleep well at night. When I've done what I can do, I can do no more except trust God will see me, the animals and the farm safely through the night.
If you're breathing, thank God.
If you're reading this...thank a coal miner.
If you ate today...thank a farmer.
If you want to help with chores, call me for directions.
Blessings ~ God's answered prayer for strength and help ~ VDOT ~ Jim ~ coal miners ~ farmers ~ chores to keep me going ~