Jack Blizzard was feeling petulant, so like a naughty teenager, he had a spiteful tantrum. Starting just before Christmas Eve, Jack dumped enough snow on us to effectively postpone Christmas. We’re hearty prairie people, and 20” of snow usually wouldn’t even slow us down, but Jack enlisted his peeps the North Wind and Bare Fields, so it wasn’t just one surly teen—it was a nasty weather gang, and there IS power in numbers.
We ended up snowed in for four days. At one point, Ray got out the Big Blower, and as Jack snickered from behind a spired drift, Ray carved a wee path round about the farmyard. So the dogs could get a run, and I could trek to the loafing shed to feed the peacocks, who were huddled in the rafters near the brooder lamp. But even the Big Blower cowered at the folly of trying to dig out our driveway, buried under one long 7’ drift. Our power blinked out a couple of times but stayed on, although our Internet was kaput for five days. I-29, which we can see from our back yard, was closed down for two days, and with no traffic and a hefty cushion of snow as far as the eye could see, it was eerily quiet, as well.
This was my first ever—I’m talking over 50 years—quiet Christmas, sans the chaos of a houseful of family & friends. It was like Little House on the Prairie, if the Ingalls had Dish network, an electric stove, and hot running water. Days one and two were delightfully peaceful; after the stress of a brutal semester and the crunch of getting grades calculated and submitted on time, the down time was a little slice of heaven. Santa came in spite of Jack, bringing Ray a make-it-yourself djembe drum kit, and dropping off a make-it-yourself winemaking kit for me—things to keep us busy, to keep us from strangling each other. Smart Santa.
Moving into day three I discovered there are only so many B movies you can watch (Fido, Tremors III, A Plumm Summer, etc.), only so many empty carbs you can eat, only so much knitting you can do, before you devolve into a whiny puffball of self-pity. I spent most of day four pasted to the greenhouse windows, feeling for vibrations that would signal a county plow, and praying for mercy, because once the road was clear, Mini Pearl, our trusty minivan, still wouldn’t make it through the 100’-long snow sculpture Jack left in our driveway.
The county plow came finally on Sunday, and that night a kindly neighbor showed up with a tractor to dig us out. We literally ran to his tractor with all the cash in the house plus two jars of homemade jam. We finally made it to Mom’s on Monday to have Christmas with Mom and the two kids who could get there. Tonight we have overnight guests coming and three parties to drop in on, and Ray’s band is playing in Little Town, so there will be dancing & merriment galore in celebration of the New Year. Ray and I will also be celebrating the gift of our first Christmas alone together, the lesson in just how much togetherness we can stand, and the amazing generosity of our little rural community.
All snow from here on out will be mere pittance. I will scoff when relatives talk about their 5” dusting of snow. And as tough as I think we plains folk are, I gotta give props to Jack: his Christmas blizzard of ought-nine kicked our hearty prairie arses. But only momentarily.
Emilie's minion on the moveThis begins another summer of wandering and adventuring! I intend to post once or twice a week, except for the month of July wh...
1 year ago