Wild Winter Weather

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Snow shovels and shop-vacs… As far as I’m concerned, they’re worth their weight in gold!

-30° Fahrenheit.

I don’t care who you are — That. Is. COLD!

And who woulda thought I’d be sweating in it?!

But that’s exactly what I was doing (sweating up a storm) the other day as I helped shovel my neighbor’s tractor out of a snowdrift. And I’m not talking about just any old run-of-the-mill tractor either; this was a big, heavy duty, 4 wheel drive CAT front-end loader — with tires almost as tall as my wife — totally stuck in a chest-deep snowdrift.

(Sorry I didn’t get a picture for you. It just didn’t seem appropriate, given the circumstances).

Standing next to that mechanical monstrosity, I felt like my little red snow shovel was somewhat out-gunned, to say the least. But with a little bit of sweat and elbow grease, we eventually got ‘er dug out.

Now, I have to admit, it wasn’t exactly -30° at the time. By the time we finished digging out the tractor, it was almost 1 o’clock in the afternoon, so things had warmed up to a balmy -5° or so — but still: extreme cold, tons of snow, driving winds, tractor-eating snowdrifts… What more could you ask for?

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I’ll tell you one thing; it sure makes for some pretty scenery!

After several days of nonstop sub-zero temperatures, I actually think we were kinda getting used to the bitter cold–

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Even the chickens were starting to venture out in it.

But it seems old Mother Nature has decided to change her tactics and pull a mean little trick on us. Almost overnight, things have warmed up to 46° (above zero), and she’s dumped more than an inch of fresh rain on top of that — melting almost a foot of snow in the past 24 hours.

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And thanks to that extreme cold-snap, the ground is totally frozen solid — so there’s absolutely NOWHERE for all that melted snow and rainwater to go…

I’ve spent the better part of the past two days bundled up in my orange raincoat, shoveling wet, heavy snow off of roofs, digging out culverts, bailing water out of basement window wells, and filling and hauling sandbags.

Heck, I even helped dig a flippin’ school bus out of the snow and slush!

(Once again, using my little red snow shovel).

And still, the fight continues…

As of right now, it’s 2:37am. I’m shivering at the kitchen table, soaked to the bone, watching the rain and sleet come streaming down our sliding glass doors (which actually looks pretty cool, illuminated by our floodlights like that).

But I’m mostly just waiting. Waiting for the kitchen timer to go off, informing me that another 20 minutes has come and gone — and it’s now time to pull on my soggy old gloves and go vacuum floodwater out of the window well again.

I’m waiting (and hoping and praying) for temperatures to finally drop down below freezing — because theoretically, that should stop the flooding, right?

Oh, and did I mention that the pump down at our well is busted? Yep, we’re out of running water…

(Isn’t it kinda ironic that we’ve got water running everywhere, except from our taps?)

I tell ya, when it rains, it pours!

And, unfortunately, it also floods. 😉

But at the end of the day, I can’t help but smile. Because let’s face it — this has been one HECK of an adventure!

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