Our expectations have been met, and now it's safe to say exceeded. The actual white stuff has nearly doubled the prediction, so maybe we've come out the other end and have a right to be irritated that our expectations haven't been met after all -- as if we have any right to "better" weather.
What kind of farm is this, without a tractor? I was beginning to wonder this myself as we shoveled our lane for the third time in 24 hours. Last night I pushed the first six inches off the lane. By the time I completed my first pass, I was feeling a little bit like Sisyphus because the snow had kept falling, four more inches of it. I repeated myself. I should have set my alarm for 2 a.m. The third time around the stuff was so deep I had to lift it.
Today, whenever I raised my shovel to take the top half off the snow, just as the metal broke the surface, I glimpsed a glacial blue that reminded me of the gradually moving ice masses we'd seen in New Zealand and Alaska. Only once did I notice the mystic blue continue after I deposited it on the rising snow bank.
The snow is still falling, but it has slowed so I don't think we'll see the banks I remember once or twice as a child growing up in Ohio. A blizzard might do the trick, but high winds aren't likely. We dug what seemed to be mile-long tunnels in those banks and burrowed like ground hogs. By the time we tired, we had to wring our clothes out, leave them in the wash tub on the back porch, and scamper upstairs in our see-through tighty-whities to find dry threads.
As it turns out, Karen encouraged my son and his friend, both college sophomores home for Christmas break, to relieve me. They worked about 15 minutes, then came in for lunch. To my surprise, they went back out. I took a warm bath and a nap and woke up to a snowplow stuck near the end of our driveway. Apparently, the boys had invited a neighbor to help them finish their chore. "I guess shovels are better," our son told Karen on the phone as another truck arrived to pull out the plow.
"He's right," whispers Virginia, "shovels are the way to go. Think if everyone took time off to get the exercise. It might even help reduce our reliance on the Middle East or offshore drilling." Maybe, maybe not. Ambulances might have to fill up more often. Whatever, ours is a great farm without a tractor.
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