Farm Life

Dark and Stormy

A snow stormy Connelly
The lovely but harrowing view from my window this morning.

Well, it’s been one heck of Valentine’s Day! I hope you’re spending yours someplace where you’re warm, well-fed and surrounded by loved ones. The weather these past two days has been, to put it mildly, challenging. I think the snow accumulation totalled somewhere around 20 inches and we have another 2 to 4 inches coming tomorrow.  My “fun” (that word is comprised of, dipped in and drizzled with sarcasm at this point) began yesterday. I was working outside at the farm all day and, of course, the snow completely pounded us from the moment we arrived. It began as large, luscious flakes that quickly turned into a horizontal, wind-whipped whiteout. To make matters worse, it was my new co-worker’s second day on the job (and I thought I started at a bad time)! He could have completely run for the hills but instead he and I totally rocked it. Together, we worked with summertime efficiency and accomplished more than my supervisor had ever thought possible in a snowstorm. We all triumphantly left work knowing that we showed the day who was boss.

road conditions
My view as I waited, with my neighbor behind me, for the plow to finish clearing our road.

I managed to successfully white-knuckle it home thanks to my new snow tires and when I arrived just outside of Connelly, my neighbor pulled me over to say that they hadn’t plowed any of the roads…at all. It was 4 pm and nothing had been touched. Ahh… Connelly, the little hamlet that Kingston forgot including the town plows. As luck would have it, the plow was right behind me so my wait was minimal. Once my neighbor and I gunned our cars up the hill, I had, in the matter of minutes, aggressively carved out a spot for my car to safely ride out the rest of the storm. I was still so pumped from the day that I even paid it forward by shoveling out the neighbors car in the driveway. Then I settled in for a relaxing night with Tuna and WordPress (I know, it’s romantic.). By the time I was ready for bed I could hear the freezing rain pounding on my windows and I knew I was in for an early morning of excessive, agonizing digging.

snow buried car
My car is in here somewhere.

I woke up at 5 am to check the situation and come up with a game plan. The roads were completely covered, as well as my car, and even the evidence of my neighborly deed was buried by 10 inches of snow. In the end, I begrudgingly decided that my fate was in the hands of the town plow and that I was going to have to practice patience. I was a tad bit concerned that there might be a repeat performance of yesterday’s single 4 pm showing but as luck would have it, the plow came at 7:15 am to clear the roads AND encase my car in a sturdy, rock-hard snow bank. Thanks mister, you shouldn’t have!

I called my supervisor to tell her that I was running extremely late and that I’d get there sometime before next year and she was just so glad to hear that I was coming into work in some way, shape or form. She’d already experienced her own snowy snafus which included driving her truck into a ditch. Luckily, with the help of four manly strangers who agreed to stand on her rear bumper, she was able to get out.

Back in Connelly, the whole block banned together to dig one another out with shovels and snow blowers and with their help I was on my way to work by 9 am. I left feeling just like the Grinch whose heart grew several times its size because of all the good deeds being witnessed. On my way to work, through all the slides and sludge, I drove by a little person and a very tall man walking along the busy street together. They were all bundled up, seemingly happy, and I couldn’t help but think of how I love this world sometimes. I love that mother nature has made each of us unique. We have little people, we have extremely tall people, we have all shapes and sizes and that’s really freakin’ fantastic! Life would be so boring if we all looked alike. Mother nature is a genius!

petunia the pitbull in the snow
Petunia was traumatized by how deep the snow was. She ran out, peed, and refused to venture back out after that.

I arrived at work to find a snowy shit-show. I hadn’t even made it halfway down the driveway before I saw a volunteer–who drove all the way from NYC in the storm (we have the best volunteers!)–had gotten her rental car stuck. All of the animal houses were buried and needed to be dug out before we could even go in to feed or water them. So needless to say, the shoveling was never-ending. I got the farm truck stuck seemingly a million times and had to use my patented rock back and forth technique. The snow was over Pep and Pepita’s fence (a sassy yet adorable duck couple) so they literally waddled right out of their enclosure and onto the frozen pond to join a flock of wild ducks. Since we’re buds, all I had to do was call for them at the end of the day and they came right to me, thankfully. The list of near disasters was fairly endless but it all turned out great because we pulled it together…AND there was cake involved which is always a good motivator.

a snowy animal sanctuary
A volunteer demonstrating the depth of the snow. The homestead looking all inviting. A glorious view of the farm featuring billowy blue skies and Kerrie’s arm.

On the way home I stopped for dinner at an Italian restaurant I frequent (the owner calls me Roll In The Hay because I always come in covered in hay) and they gave me flowers for Valentine’s Day. I was so darn touched. I’d forgotten what day it was. When I arrived home I opened up a package from Ling Ling and in it I found an infinity scarf that she had knitted me (or Petunia), a glorious pair of thermal footie pajamas that I will never take off, tons of chocolate and several gossip magazines which I absolutely loathe–but like train wrecks, I can’t look away from them once they’re in front of me.

petunia the pitbull
Petunia enjoying my flowers, footie pajamas and scarf. She tried to eat my flower though…ungrateful tramp!

This morning, as we dug out the animal enclosures, I asked the NYC volunteer how they were handling the storm down in the big apple. She mentioned witnessing a slap fight between two cranky women who had enough of bumping into one another on the subway. All people kept saying was that it was too early for a fight and all the volunteer kept thinking was that it isn’t about the time of day, it’s about the inappropriateness of fighting with a complete stranger over personal space on a crowded subway car. I couldn’t help but see the contrast between her experience and the one I just had in Connelly where we all helped one another. We’re only about an hour apart but the difference is night and day. All in all, for having to work in such a terrible storm, it’s left me with a tremendous feeling of satisfaction, hope and more than anything I feel grateful.

3 thoughts on “Dark and Stormy”

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