Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What a Difference a Year Makes

Remember this one: When Is It Too Cold To Shut the Farm Down?

How about this oldie, but a goodie from 2013: Diary of a Snow Day

The gist of both is that a snow day for a farmer is not really a day off, but more work.

However, what a difference a couple of years it's currently nearly 11:00, and Joe's chores this morning consisted of answering the phone when school was cancelled, letting the dog out of the basement, and taking my car to town for an oil change. Granted, our show calves needed tending to, but our lovely friends where they are being housed...just a few miles north and south of here, have graciously fed, bedded, and checked in with them. My uncle was in need of a tractor to get the drifts off the hog chutes at his building (hogs are being hauled out tomorrow...won't that be fun?), and Joe jumped at the chance to use his tractor and blade to scoop him out.

My dude needs his farm chops brushed off once in a while.

Yesterday, I heard the hum of our loader tractor at 5:00 AM, plowing out the six inches of snow in our driveway so the bus could come through. I'm thankful we have that tractor still...a snowblower or a scoop couldn't even make a dent without at least five hours of shoveling in our huge driveway, and our resident teacher/farmer loves to jump on equipment now and again.

I laughed to myself, however, as I reminisced of my days as a town kid. My dad would rise early on snowy days, snow blowing and scraping and scooping so that our driveway, all 20 feet of it (give or take) would be perfectly clear, as in immaculately clear on the iciest of days. My Type A personality is from my lovely father, whose driveway in January would NEVER warrant a law suit, and resembles a mid-June driveway.

Out on the farm, it's a different story. There's no WAY our drive can be as perfect as a town one, the scope is too massive. Our driveway for our car is one entity that must be cleared, and then there's the lot. It's where tractors and combines and semis have to be able to turn around, load, unfold, and dump, and so a snow blower is no match, and it's not worth the hassle, or heart attack to scoop it. Instead, the loader tractor is enlisted with the blade on, and from the cozy tractor cab, we're scooped to freedom!

So today, I have Farmer Joe/Teacher Joe/ Daddy in the house for most of the day...right now he's talking to insulators and our carpenter (isn't that perfect timing to get basement insulation on the COLDEST day of the year???). We're trying this new normal of snow days as a teacher, and so far, so good...

It's early, though...I'll keep you posted!

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