Friday, December 18, 2020

Gail Force

A few days ago the weather forecast said there was a 30% chance of snow with only light accumulation. Over the next 72 hours I watched the forecast slowly grow in percents and inches. The night before it snowed, there was a suggestion of up to 9 inches would fall in the night, with another 4 the next morning. And that is what I thought I was waking up to.

Instead the lowest point of snowfall was 25”, with drifts well over 4 feet tall. We got SLAMMED. And yesterday was the hardest day’s work I have ever done on this farm. And thank a thousand tiny gods I wasn’t alone. We started digging paths to move around at 8:30. We dug out every coop, barn, and made sure every critter had a path from their shelter to their food/water stations. Roofs were raked. Chicken waterers brought inside to thaw by the wood stove. And by the time I realized we needed to stop for a breakfast break it was already 1pm.

Shoveling snow like that, across acres and standing on roof… It completely drains you. Total body exhaustion, but by the time we were having dinner we had that perfect knowledge that all the work we did was necessary and important work. Both of us felt it was a great day. Outside, using muscle and hope, dragging snow off barns and cracking through icy covers over drinking fonts. It was the kind of work that feeds you. And I am reminded again why I chose this life. It’s never boring. Each day brings work, adventure, and import.

That work was appreciated again today when watching the sheep walk down their tunnel to their water and grain, when the dogs zoomed around our ant colony for morning chores. When the horses got hay safe and warm in the morning light. It’s easy to feel fulfilled when the entire morning is being of use, even to an anxious dog nearly tripping you as you balance buckets on lumpy snow.

Happy to report that 41 bales were delivered hours before the snow fell. The barn still needs more but this is a nice band aid on a bleeding cut. Having that hay put up and another cord of wood stacked while still burning the first feels safer, and better, than years earlier.

I hope you guys are safe and warm in your own homes. Looks like it’ll be a Winter Wonderland for Yule!

And now for a -2 degree night! Wish the pipes luck!!!


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