What I learned in a blizzard


It’s my first winter on the farm, and we got smacked in the head with a good Midwestern blizzard. I’ve experienced a blizzard before but that was when I was in Chicago holed up in my little, self-contained apartment. I didn’t have to deal with power outages, shoveling, driving or animal maintenance. I have a lot to learn about how to function during a blizzard if I am to live here.

Blizzard Building

Here is what I did learn:

I can’t ski. I thought I could. I come from a family who are very skilled in the art of skiing, paddling, skating, snow shoeing, hiking, camping, etc. Although I can’t say I’ve ever excelled in any of those pursuits, I did enjoy them. Years ago I traded in my alpine skis for cross-country skis and really enjoyed trekking across fields and wooded trails. That was about 20 years ago, and since then I’ve hung on to my skis through various moves to various cities but never put them back on. Finally, Big Snow comes and I figured, once I got done with work for the day, I’d slap those skis on and give them a whirl around the property before it got too dark. The snow was piling up nice and fluffy so it should be smooth gliding. It was not smooth gliding. It was walking. Ski-walking. Because I forgot how to ski. Most embarrassing. So I’m walking on my skis before I realized that there was some sort of kick/glide action that was supposed to occur, and apparently it was supposed to occur due to my own actions. So okay, I can do this…kick, walk, stumble, walk, kick….and then there was this green flash that lit up the sky. Snow lightning!! The green variety!! Oh great, so now I’m ski-walking in a panic back to the house thinking, “darn this end of the world thing, it’s happening ahead of schedule”. Lesson: learn to ski again. And enjoy the green lightning, it’s not the end of the world.

Check in with the mate: I was lucky in that I was able to work from home that day. Rather than have to face a potentially dangerous commute or lose hours, I was able to bring files home and hunker down in my little office space. I liked that. I can get very focused in that little office of mine. Maybe a little too focused. While I was safe and sound in front of the computer, Pete was out there in the elements dealing with large animals, blowing snow, things that get stuck and I’m sure other unseen perils. And I neglected to call him on his cell phone on a regular basis to see if he was all right. I’ve apparently lived alone too long, and after this blizzard I realize I have much to learn in the relationship business. Communicate. This should be commonsense for most people, but apparently I need improvement there.

Gray Ghost Survival Tactics: I’ve always been worried about how Gray Ghost will handle the cold weather. I felt good about the fact that she has furred up nicely and put on some weight. And we did build a nice, little lodge for her on the porch, but she hasn’t taken to the lodge aside from going inside it to eat and doing a Snoopy-Sit on its roof. So when she disappeared during the blizzard I became concerned until Pete happened to find her in the barn’s hay loft where she somehow managed to create a cozy burrow within stacks of straw bales. Smart cat. I had to hand-deliver her next couple of meals in the barn, up the ladder and into the hay loft. Let’s see Jimmy Johns do that, cat. Although if she did have a cat phone she’d probably order sushi, and I’d be right there with her on that count.

Blizzard Cat

The driving thing: I’m just as good at driving as I am at skiing!! I’m still getting a handle on that in normal conditions. Throw in some ice and snow and it’s a good thing there wasn’t a lot of traffic around when I was on the road today. But each day I’m getting a little more practiced at it, and feeling more and more confident on the road. Pretty soon I can take my training wheels off!

Unplug computer during any sort of storm you dumb*ss! Yes, that’s right. I wasn’t thinking. And now I’m paying for it. Fortunately, I have the lap top on which to work otherwise I’d be a bit screwed. But still…I must remember to back up files on a regular basis and unplug the computer during storms. But I can’t get too caught up with fretting over that. I’ll sort it all out eventually, but what’s important is that we’re all safe and warm here for now. And that in itself is a pretty good thing.

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3 thoughts on “What I learned in a blizzard

  1. Would you believe we are wishing for snow? There hasn’t been enough snow in Illinois for even cross country skiing in a number of years. Watch out for what you wish for right? Micka, look into, pick up a copy of, “Orion” Magazine. Your lovely work is very relevant to their mission and quality. Merry Christmas

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