More Winter

Bartholomew Cubbins, because of his sticking out feather that looks just like Bartholomew’s hat feather.

It snows a lot. Even I am satisfied with our snow amounts this winter. How deep it must be by now! Measured in feet, not just inches. The paths to the mailbox and dumpster that Elv keeps open with the snowblower are banked several feet high with snow walls. I love walking up to the house from the car at night between these snowbanks, the porch lights creating snowy rooms of the patio and walkways, cozy-like, even in the sub-zero evening temperatures. We attempted to get a few of the ice columns off the house the other day so there are huge chunks and shards of that adventure ice with ax and hot water lying randomly scattered over the patio now. It didn’t work well for the heating cord strung there so we quit trying. “Our patio looks like Lake Superior.” Elv commented.

“Except it isn’t blue.” I replied remembering our short drive by last Sunday. People were out on the strange seascape ice fishing or playing in the new caves, while someone was getting her picture taken, against an extra big shard of blue ice, her hair flying, no coat, and tall boots. Very cute, of course, but cold, I’d say.

The Thorn Apple Road Job Monday after the Blizzard of 2019

The snow was even deeper at the cabin last weekend. So Elv blew the road open with his trusty JD tractor blower while Abram and Lance broke the crust ahead of his machine with shovels.
But mostly we hiked in the woods and on the beaver ponds with snow shoes which is our next favorite winter sport after snow removal. I’m kidding. Snow removal is fun but now that we’ve done so much of it with shovels, blower, and even a big plow attached to the forwarder at work, we think about spring coming in a few weeks.

I went to work with Elv Monday spending all day perched on the dash in his glass cubicle where he spends the greater part of his waking hours at work. There were deer feeding on the tops left by the cutting in the distance. High up in that machine one can see far horizons and wide open sky in these clear cuts. There isn’t time to be bored with my camera on hand. Besides, we listened to a Jack London tale of romance and finance. And I learned how to see where the wood was nestled under the snow watching the bucket sift through the snow to discover ten sticks piles sometimes. It’s interesting to me to spend a day now and then with him like this.

After that we plowed the road. He drove the machine up to a waiting V-plow attaching it to the forwarder blade. Then we plowed the first run out two miles to the county road, turned it around and plowed back in to the landing. Then my real reason for being on the job with Elv all day came next. Which was to drive the pick-up out to the end for him so that he wouldn’t have to walk those two miles in sub-zero weather to get to the pickup. Have I mentioned that there is no phone reception on that job? And he was planning to go alone that day to finish up and move the machine out. So I went. It was a few degrees above zero, I think, during the sunny hours at mid-day. Too cold to be alone, with no reception, where a minor mistake or accident could become dangerous. I did enjoy the day and, of course, being together. But I digress. Where was I?

I enjoy driving Elv’s pickups or tractors now and again. This new service truck is a “stick shift” so that makes it even more fun for me. (I had a good dad who taught me about clutches and gears doing field work when I was a teenager. I remember being allowed to stay home from school once to disk all day on the new breaking.) So I drove the pickup with the fuel trailer behind, in low, all the way out to the road while Elv plowed one more swath of snow on our way out. Once I spun out on a hill so I held the brake till he came rescue my dumb situation. I should have gotten up speed to get to the top. There was a lot of loose snow under there, though. I left it in gear and shut the pickup off to hold it but stayed on the brake and scooted over enough for him to crawl in beside me and take over. He tried three times till he got it to the top. So I didn’t feel quite so silly. After that I gave myself room and gathered speed and kept it going over those parts of the road.

Being allowed to help Elv in his world like this once in a while is soul food for our marriage. I guess every couple has something they do together that is unique to them creating their own bubble apart from every other distraction. This is one of ours.

Elv says there’s more snow coming. Dress warm and carry on.

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