You might want to get your favorite beverage. This could be a long story.
I would think that most people have heard the old humorous phrase, "If you don't like the weather in Colorado wait 30 minutes." If you have never heard it before, you have now.
OK, let me set the stage for this story.
My family and I live 14 miles from the nearest gas station/convenience store/restaurant. We live 40(+) miles from the nearest full town. Driving to that town will take a safe driver an hour or more, because the first 11 miles with take at least twenty minutes. (Don't do the math. My equation is based on excessive speeds where it possible.) The elevation of our house is almost 2500' vertical feet above the nearest town. OK, we're almost ready for the story.
But we need to talk about the fact that I don't have much faith in weather forecasting. My lack of faith was brought on by hundreds of missed forecasts and my conversations with actual weather scientists.
My construction life allowed me to act as project manager for an office building built for the Atmospheric Sciences building at Colorado State. I became friends with some of the scientists. I actually played on Atmospheric Sciences softball team. (Yes, even scientists will play softball if beer is around.) I asked PhD Mark, "Why are you so often wrong?" PhD Mark said, "Well, it has to do with wind currents and how they meet the mountains, moisture changes…….hey, can you hand me another beer." I listened and I realized Mark and his friends were guessing, just educated guessing.
Last Monday, while the outside temperatures were in the 70s and 80s, PhD Mark's friends started talking about a huge storm in Alaska. They were saying that the Alaska storm could potentially bring SIGNIFICANT snowfall to Northern Colorado. Well folks, softball season has started in Colorado, and I wondered how much beer they had.
Turns out they hadn't had any beer. Last Wednesday it started to rain and get cold. Thursday morning snow was eight inches deep on the grassy surfaces at our house on (not on the driveway or road) and snowing hard. I realized I should have talked to PhD Mark directly.
Shortly, after getting out of bed Thursday morning we lost power in our house. Thank God the coffee had finished. You have to love those coffee pots with clocks. We got ready for school and work in the dark, locked up the dogs and went to town. The key to this paragraph is "locked up the dogs".
Halfway to town, I started to wish that someone would have stayed behind. Oh well, I decided once everyone was safe in town, I would turn around and go home to take care of the dogs, llamas and poultry. Did I mention that my truck (The truck the twins and Ivy call "The Beast") was in the shop getting repairs?
I borrowed a truck (not like The Beast) from my construction employer. I loaded the truck with chicken feed, groceries for us, hay for the llamas and yak and headed for home. Elaine decided to go home with me. (She’s a trooper!)
Five miles from our home, snow was starting to stick to the road. We passed the electrical linemen working on the power lines. I stopped to ask if we had power. I was told in just a “couple more minutes”.
The farther we drove the deeper the snow got. I was pushing snow with the bumper of the truck. The road had totally disappeared. One half mile from our house, Elaine screamed, “Right! Go right!” I didn’t go right (I wish I had) in time. I drove the truck off the road and down into the ditch. The same truck that was loaded with groceries, chicken feed and hay that were all needed at the house only one half mile away.
The snow had accumulated in the ditch to a point that I could not get my door open. I started to crawl out the window of the truck. Elaine’s door opened. I crawled over the console and out Elaine’s door. We grabbed the bags of groceries and started walking down the snow covered road. The snow was stinging our eyes as we walked.
An hour later, soaked from the wet snow and legs burning from walking in the snow, Elaine and I arrived home. At home, we quickly realized the predictions of electric linemen are as inaccurate as weather forecasters. The power was still off.
Elaine and I dried off and changed into different clothing. We knew our day was not over. We need to at least get some hay out of the truck. We dressed, including snowshoes, grabbed a sled to carry a bale of hay and started back to the truck.
Walking on snowshoes for the hay, I heard an engine running in the distance. Elaine exclaimed, “Its truck loaded with hay!” I waved to the truck and it stopped at our driveway. Two cowboys jumped out.
Cowboy: You guys need help?
Me: I see you have hay on that truck, how about selling a bale?
Cowboy: Nah, I’ll just give you some.
Me: That’s nice of you. Just drop it where you are parked and I will haul it back on my sled.
Cowboy: Nope, I’m driving down your driveway. (This is a big truck.)
The cowboy drove down the driveway and dropped off about 400 lbs. of hay. Enough for about five days. And then, the truck got stuck! The cowboys worked a while to get the truck unstuck, waved and headed back down the driveway. What a relief!
Elaine and I fed the animals and went back into the house. The power came on. This day was finally over. Except, some else was seemed wrong. I finally realized what was bugging me. I left the window open on the truck. I put the snowshoes back on. I convinced Elaine to stay home.
A half hour later, I closed the truck window and started snowshoeing home. I soon encountered a vehicle using the tracks in the snow created by the hay truck. The driver stopped next to me on the road and said, “Can I give you a ride?”
Me: I’m not far from home, I can walk.
Driver: Get in, I’m moving pretty good.
I removed my snowshoes and jumped in his car. We were stuck. He used his cellphone to talk for someone to tow him out. I started to put the snowshoe back on. If you have never tried to put on snowshoes after missing your last forty years of yoga classes, don’t try it. I decided to get out of the car and try it. I stepped out of the car, sank down in the deep snow and face-planted. Trying to push yourself up in snow longer than your arms, well, just know that it is really hard to accomplish.
Help arrived in the form of a tractor. It was decided the tractor would clear a path all the way (two miles) to the driver’s house. I had suggested the driver find a spot on the tractor and let it get him home. I was out voted. I refused a ride. There was no way I was taking my snowshoes off again. The tractor started clearing the path. They were successful for a while. Soon the car was stuck again and the driver was seated on the bucket of the tractor headed home.
Strangely, I enjoyed my snowshoeing trip home. Elaine and I were finally safe at home.
Elaine and I shoveled snow most of the next day. Ivy and the twins were stuck in town. The next day was the awards assembly at the middle school. School is out for the SUMMER next week. With Elaine and I stuck at home, Boy Twin was awarded Student of the Year and won a $1000 scholarship. It was a blessing we were not able to attend the assembly. Elaine cried just watching the video. It scares me what would have happened if Elaine was there.
Saturday, Ivy, The Beast and I pulled the boss’s truck out of the ditch, Today, the weather forecasters are predicting rain and the sun is shining and 55 degrees. I should call PhD Mark, but I just don’t care.
Next week, we will talk about yarn. I just thought you should know what I go through just to sell yarn.
Our crazy lives!