It’s Official – I am over Winter (2/11/2014)
I’ve been positive all Winter. Frankly, I’ve been proud JR and I are making it through our first Montana winter, a winter that has seen more extremes than a normal winter (so we are told). My record-keeping shows 120 inches of snow thus far, and I underestimate every time. But yesterday I said “enough already.” You can’t rely on the forecasts. And the wind, oh my goodness, the wind. Peace be with you if you need to be somewhere at a certain time.
Last week, I checked the weather so I could take half a day off to make a Billings run. I chose Tuesday. Background: Our neighbor is out of town and JR has been plowing every day, multiple times a day, for a week (again). While he is trying to work. Uh huh. At 10:30am, I noticed our neighbor’s sedan was off his road and saw a red jacket walking our way. He shows up at our door needing JR to pull him out and plow his road. Mind you, it had not snowed anymore. The wind was causing everything to drift. Earlier that morning, I had been concerned about the road and I was only returning from feeding horses, and I was in 4WD. Frankly, I don’t know how the neighbor made it as far as he did. Luckily, JR and the neighbor were able to get to the plow and spent the next hour getting the sedan pulled out. Then, JR plowed again. And again, and again over the next four hours. While trying to work. During this time, our neighbor was driving home from the airport and called JR and JR called me to tell me how bad the road home was. “Road is covered. Passed at least twelve cars that had slid off the road.” The neighbor got home and plowed the road again… and again.
Instead of finishing my errands in Billings, I figured I’d better head home. It was 5pm and going to be dark soon. I didn’t get it – it was 46 degrees and sunny in Billings, and the highway was completely dry.
The side streets were a slushy mess, but not dangerous. I closely watched the temp on the car. By the time I got to Laurel, the temperature was 35 degrees. Uh oh, I thought. Better keep an eye on road conditions. It’s going to start freezing up. Except, the road was completely dry! “What the heck,” I thought. I could have gone to Sam’s and then picked up some Italian for dinner! All the way through Joliet, I was mad. “What do they think I am, some kind of idiot that can’t drive on dry roads at dusk?” Quickly, I understood. As soon as I passed the rest area outside of Roberts, the road went from completely dry to completely covered. Let’s say “thanks” for the distance I was leaving between me and the car ahead of me. I thank the deer for that. I’d already stopped three times for deer crossings.
I was careful the rest of the way home and was so happy to turn on our road. “Hmmm,” I thought. “I could have sworn JR told me he plowed when I was leaving Billings.” I continued on, thinking it must be fine if JR said he plowed. At the crest of the hill I stopped and put the car in 4WD, just to be safe. Then, as I crossed the second cattle guard, I thought whoa. Have you ever seen the movie “Clue?” “The car is scared.” I can’t rightfully say the Jeep was scared – I’m sure Jeep wouldn’t like that. It was me. But, again, I thought, “JR plowed. You can do this. Drive in the last visible tracks.” Those were hard to find. I made it to our driveway, turned in.
It was at this point I understood the challenges for the day were not yet done. Down the road, at the turn that always get me, JR’s truck was off the side. The plow truck was there and they were in the midst of pulling JR’s truck out. No matter, it’s not like I could have gone any further anyway. This was what I saw
That is a car’s width of “road” (I wasn’t sure if it was actually road, or the pasture made into a road by a truck with chains). It was impossible to tell. The snow – that is waist high snow. I waited for someone to come get me. NO WAY was I backing myself up again. I knew that would probably end badly and it looked like the guys didn’t need any more work!
Hank plowed to the house and brought JR out to me to back me up, let Hank out, and drive us home. As my Granny would have said, “Good night Irene.” I’m done.
Spring, where are you? Please come, and let Winter be gone with the wind.