February 23, 2020
Today the sun peeked out amongst the puffy white clouds. We’ve had a bit of snow. The 16-18 inches of snow of which Summer and others refer to as a blizzard or “Snowmaggedon” was not a blizzard. I’ve been in a blizzard and this ain’t it. I was going from Fritz Creek to Live Oak Florida in December of 2018 with two dogs and pulling a 28′ cargo trailer. . In the Canadian Rockies, I drove into a blizzard. The snow flakes were nearly an inch across and being blown by a 20+ MPH wind. It was a ‘white out’ as visibility was, at best, only 50-60 feet. Sometimes, I couldn’t see past the hood ornament on the truck. The only way I was able to stay in the road were the delineator markers along the roadside. I took my half in the middle and drove a straight line from delineator to delineator whilst praying that the road did not curve somewhere in between. There were no house lights or other headlights. The only lights on that road were my own headlights. Apparently, no one as stupid as myself was on the road. The very first vehicle I saw in the next 40 miles and almost two hours later was parked at a motel. What is being referred to as a blizzard here and now was a gentle snow fall of small powdery stuff that lasted almost 3 days. It accumulated in powdery piles and drifts. It is really beautiful to see. There was no ‘white out’ so it was not a blizzard. I’ve heard the term ‘fresh powder’ mentioned by skiers, I guess this is what they meant.
Yesterday we arose to find that one of our tents, used to store firewood, had collapsed. This was the prompt that we needed to get suited up and clear the snow off the two other tents and the greenhouse. Preparing to get to the greenhouse required me to shovel about 40 feet of path to said greenhouse. Summer borrowed a snow rake to get the snow off the tents and the greenhouse. Doesn’t sound like much of a job until you take into account the near waist deep drifts. Summer was at or beyond waist deep in places. By the time we cleared the two tents and the greenhouse we were both exhausted from struggling through the snow. But that didn’t end our adventures in the powdery white stuff.
Summer had called Dan, her significant other, and asked who we might call to get our street (dirt road) plowed. A phone call, to a fellow named Matt, resulted in him arriving in a pick up truck with a snow plow. He made one pass up the road as he was coming in. After that he turned around and came back to our driveway to clear out the parking area. HE GOT STUCK. We spent most of the next hour getting his truck unstuck. After numerous attempts we, finally, got his truck free of the snow and ice that was holding it, After that he more carefully cleared the parking area and ran 2 more passes on the road. The road was cleared and we were, at last, able to go inside and warm up. Enough misery for one day.
Today in the brilliant sunshine we are going to dig out a 4″x 12″x 15’+ beam out of the lumber pile. Of course it is covered in near 2 feet of snow. Fun stuff. I need this beam to span an area where the dirt has fallen away from the pilings holding up the southeast corner of the house. This is the last area that must be supported before I can lower the house. It would have been a lot easier and less trouble had the dirt not collapsed, Somewhere in the collapsed area are two 40 ton hydraulic jacks. Certainly won’t be getting those back until ‘Break Up’ in late March or early April, if things go as normal. Did find a third jack partially exposed in the frozen mud. I think I can use a propane torch to get it out. That would allow me to have 3 jacks to finish the lowering process. Only 3 jacks will make the process slower but after all of the interruptions I’ve had over the past 6 months it will amount to hardly a ripple in time spent on this project.
We have a sick dog in the house. Betsy Boo, a Jack Russel terrier, has some sort of ear problem and a rash on her neck. Summer was told that the rash was a result of the dog having and wearing a wet collar. The wetness came from melting snow from her being outside to take care of urgent business. As the Great Swami of Fritz Creek, I see a Vet visit in Betsy Boo’s future and a lightening of our bank account by $200 or so. I had planned to get Suzy, my Yorkshire terrier, groomed this week. She’ll just have to wait a couple of weeks for her $75 ‘beauty’ appointment. Que sera, sera or something like that.
Well, I have finished my “Everything” bagel stuffed with a sausage patty and a little mustard. Have, also, finished my third and last 16 oz. cup of coffee for the day. That means that I must suit up and dig my Ram 3500 out of the snow or be trapped here for the duration of the winter. Need to get Summer to help me move the 15’+ wood beam from the lumber pile and onto the ledge under the house, shovel a path to the beam pile, shovel a path to the water shed and thence on to the road. After that, shovel a path to the chickens new abode and then take care of some project, that I can’t remember, that Summer needs done.
Gonna be a great day. The Sun is shining and the skies are blue.