Out Loud: January 26, 2017: Snow Days

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I didn’t get any farther than the wood shed all weekend and spent much of it in my pajamas. Being certain that a power outage loomed, I started the wood stove Thursday night and kept it going until Tuesday morning.

Thursday, I stopped at the pharmacy and the hardware store for provisions in case of an outage and getting snowed in.

I bought batteries to power the two Rayovac campstoves with their bright fluorescent bulbs. Jack  traveled to La Quinta for the golf tournament the Wednesday prior. We closed the office both Friday and Monday for snow days with too many employees unable to get to the office and a sparse number of customers braving outside to come to the office. (Sorry if you were one of them and missed us.) So, with Jack gone and four days off, I had somewhat of a mini snow vacation over the weekend.  

I shoveled the walkway and collected wood.

My son Zac showed up with his two kids Saturday, slogging up our 200-foot driveway, and staying until Sunday afternoon, trudging back down into even deeper snow. He and my grandson Carter kept us greatly supplied with wood for that ominous outage moment I was certain would come.

Knowing that, I took care of anything involving electricity: laundry, dishes, etc. Cooking was not an issue as I could rely on the wood stove and my cast-iron pans and Dutch oven. And I cooked a Moroccan chicken dish in that oven Sunday night before Jack got back — again in case of that outage.

To my surprise, while others reported power outages in Fern Valley and Pine Cove, our electricity remained on. Of course, I’m convinced that’s because I was ready for it.

Because my car was parked down by the highway, I had not seen the situation Jack experienced getting to the house. The berm approached 4 feet. He parked at the Alandale Guard Station and walked along Highway 243 to the berm, climbed up it and then slogged his way up that long driveway. It took some time before he caught his breath once inside.

We decided not to get plowed out the next day because more snow was coming. We arranged for someone to plow and shovel out my car Wednesday.

Lucky for us that Jack’s trip meant his car was not snowed over. Tuesday morning, he headed down to shovel out his car after Monday’s snow. I followed a bit later and waited by the highway for him. When he brought the car up next to our driveway, I slid down the berm and jumped in.

Tuesday night, instead of letting me out at the driveway, I suggested he park and we go together from the Alandale station. That’s what we did, walking along Highway 243 in the dark with nowhere to jump aside if a vehicle came. We both used our cell-phone flashlight apps. We never saw a vehicle come from either direction.

At the berm, I climbed up first and then started trying to walk in the snow. But this was snowshoe snow, soft and not compacted. My boots went way deep unexpectedly and I fell three times. Good thing I didn’t go up by myself earlier.

Jack caught up with me, and I became the caboose on the rear of the engine, hanging on to the back of his coat as he led the way, taking care to try to step in our earlier footprints.

I imagine you have similar snow stories to tell. Our difference is we don’t see tourists on our property. Our big guard dog, Riley, probably keeps them at bay.

Becky Clark, Editor

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