Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow and Ice and Blizzards, Oh My!

If you live in the 2/3 of the U.S. that isn't experiencing the enormous winter storm that's creating havoc in the other 1/3, count yourself lucky. After reading comments on Facebook by those getting hit the hardest, I've decided not to whine.

It's strange that less than 10 days ago, my daughters and I were talking about the time we and several of our neighbors were caught in a blizzard 2 miles from home. Home at that time was a farm, where the nearest neighbor was 1/4 mile away.

The snow had begun while I was still at work, and for once the company owner gave permission for those of us worried about getting home safely the choice to leave. I left, drove the 10 miles to pick up my three girls--ranging in age from 3 to 7--from the baby-sitter, then started for home. We were halfway there when the station wagon I was driving decided to do a complete 360 in the middle of the road. Shaken, I made it slowly to a small gas 'n go, where we met up with my husband. We followed him the 2 miles north to our road, then turned west, but hadn't gone half a mile when we learned that the snowplow was stuck on the road...and blocking it. We and 6 of our neighbors who used that road to get home were stranded. The closest house was over half a mile away, and it was blizzarding. Not ideal conditions for small children who weren't dressed for walking around in that kind of weather. But then neither were most of the adults!

A neighbor who lived farther away heard about the trouble and drove his 4-wheel drive tractor to our line of stranded cars. A few at a time, he took us to the nearest house, where those neighbors had made coffee, hot cocoa, and sandwiches. By now we'd been stranded for over 4 hours. My brother-in-law showed up sometime later in a second 4wd tractor and took us home. Believe me, 2 adults and 3 kids in a tractor cab is a crunch! He drove across snow-buried wheat fields that were like washboards, causing us to hit our heads on the top of the cab several times during the 2 mile journey. Finally coming to a stop across the road from our house, he let us out. We tromped through a deep ditch full of snow that wasn't recognizable as ditch, crossed the road, then another ditch, and were finally home. By the time we were inside the house, it was after 10 p.m. Our 6+ hour adventure was finally over!

Times like these don't happen very often in our part of the state, so we're usually caught off guard when they do. I won't lie and say we had a fun time during that long ago blizzard, but we certainly did have an adventure we'd always remember.

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