Archive for Thursday, March 25, 2010

Winter just won’t let go

Around Town column

March 25, 2010

So, you thought the Winter Olympics were over weeks ago, didn’t you? Nope, there was another round of games yet to play when Mother Nature dumped another round of snow and ice on us. Nice.

Remember when the Winter Games in Canada were plagued by the lack of snow? Really? We sure would have been more than happy to share ours with them. The last figures I’ve seen on snowfall showed we’ve had 30 more inches of snow than last year. Ouch. Oddly enough, that 2.5 feet of snow came on roughly the same amount of snow “dates” as a year ago.

What I remember most is that several of those “dates” were whoppers. Who can forget the “Blizzard of ‘09” on Christmas Eve that snarled Christmas plans far and wide. It forced us to delay the festivities for two days. I was snow drifted in until Mike Craig came along with his four-wheel-drive tractor and bladed my “driveway” out. It’s about a quarter mile long. No way could I shovel that unless I wanted to end up in the cardiac ward.

A few weeks later, we got hammered again. This time I was smart – or so I thought. When the snow started falling, I started driving up and down my driveway to keep it down and the drifts busted. It worked. The next day was easy to get out.

But the snow kept falling and drifting so it was another test to get back to the farm, but I did. I decided to go ahead with the trips up and down the trail to get everything good and busted up. It worked three times and I thought one more time would be perfect. Wrong. I got stuck. Real stuck.

I shoveled snow from around the truck’s tires and tried the rock back and forth. I made progress, but not hardly enough. Darkness fell and I gave up, vowing to get out the next day. More of the same. I was getting nowhere fast and had pretty much run out of foul words to scream and yell.

So I called the Craigs again. This time it was Larry Craig to the rescue in the four-wheel-drive tractor. This time not only was the driveway bladed, but he hooked the log chain on the truck and pulled me out. I will never forget the Craigs for this. Ever.

Those were the biggest examples of my “Winter Games,” but certainly weren’t the highlight. No, that would be the almost daily event of bobsledding. That’s pretty much what I was doing with the quarter-mile track snow free, but practically a sheet of ice. Always.

As I was watching the real Winter Games and the bobsledding competition, it hit me that that’s what I was doing. Every trip was a case of doing my best to get through the corners and going as fast as I could down the straight aways to make it to the county road.

I don’t mind saying I was pretty good. I never got stuck again. Alas, there was no gold medal for me, the truck or the Pony. Not even a silver or a bronze. I sloughed that off and relished the chance to compete.

That’s why I was ready Saturday. This time I just let the snow fall. I wasn’t scared. No need to bust drifts or anything. I was just going to take the course on — one on one. But I did do a smart thing again. I didn’t go anywhere Saturday and just stayed glued to the TV watching the NCAA basketball tournament. Then on Sunday when the sun came out I just let it do its job, melting away the fluffy snow.

Sunday afternoon, I jumped in the Pony, backed it out of the garage and took off down the course. Nothing to it, I thought, until I made it to the big corner. A huge drift was across the road and much too big for the Mustang. I deftly altered trajectory, dodging the drift and then quickly got back on course. I busted through to the road and all was well.

Still no gold medal, but thank you Mother Nature for the thrill of victory. Even if it’s in my own mind.

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