Gas rationing taking it's toll on ranch life out here.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Friday, February 21, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
The Gauntlet hasn’t banned us passage this year. There’s only been one snowstorm, but that’s beside the point. The problem is usually that the county thinks the seven of us that live out our road are so low on the importance totem-pole that winter is generally over by the time they plow.
Five years ago, after Unc died but before we moved out, we were bringing groceries out to AuntI, who doesn’t drive or even leave the house in winter. The neighbors had two kids in public school at the time, so the county had plowed out to their place for the schoolbus… right past our turn at the wye. There were three-foot snow drifts criss-crossing the road the entire ¾-mile to the house. This we walked, thankfully in the snowboots we just happened to have in the car. It was one of the angriest phone calls I’ve ever made, to the power company who was still taking our checks but never bothered to call and find out if anyone was still living there.
Every year since, we’ve had to call and remind them that a shut-in lives here, and we needed open access to reach her. Last year was the exception of course, so we waited to see what they would do. Nothing. So we plowed with the backhoe out to the wye, tiptoed through the Gauntlet from there, and planned emergency stays with a friend so Dude could get to work.
A few months ago, the county brought the road grader (grater? Sure feels like it when they’re done) down to the lower cattle guard (the extent of their responsibility) — long after the weeds they were supposed to have graded away months earlier were dead, their seeds scattered all over our ranch. Dude had a conversation with the one employee we knew, who said they didn’t know anyone was living here. Really?! So who’s been round-filing our complaints? He promised they’d remember us in the future.
So with our first storm, we were waiting. Still nothing. But the neighbors with one still in school, didn’t get any consideration either. Amazing. Especially since they had to drive past our mutual road to get to the one three miles past us.
So we took things into our own hands. Dude plowed from the house to the lower cattle guard with the backhoe. From there, he drove the big farm truck out to the wye and back (nearly getting himself stuck). Beyond that, it seems there was an unspoken agreement that we would all drive through every bit of the snow on the road, packing it under our tires.
It was a childish level of delight, careening down the road, aiming for the mini-berms. Maybe we did such a good job, the county thought they’d already been through. They finally came through two weeks after the storm, and only turned our nice smooth road into a washboard. Again, our tax dollars at work!
Monday, February 17, 2014
|Lucki and Dodge ready for spring|
It's been a difficult winter weatherwise too. One morning when Dude left for work at O-dark-thirty, it was -15 degrees, with a significant wind chill on top of it. There was very little snow overall -- maybe 6" max -- and what we did get was dry and drifty. Ice and fog were ever-present; Dude even went nose-to-nose with a couple of deer once as he broke from the Nothing.
I'm just desperate for spring. There are seeds to plant, trees to prune, gardens to till, buildings to tear down, and horses to train.
|First babies of 2014|
Lately, we've been closer to that goal. The temps have risen to the 50s during the day and mid-30s overnight. The snow is gone and the rains have begun. I'm currently looking at a beautiful blue sky; if it weren't for the wind chill, I'd be outside. Oh... and if it weren't for our nasty colds...
This morning we got our biggest spring-boost: four little chicks appeared out at the barns, and Momma brought them to the front door for a meal. So cute! Maybe spring is just around the corner after all!
And then we can ignore the blog again for all the work to be done!