Saturday, January 22, 2011
Cold Comfort Farm
Here's the interesting sight that greeted me this morning: The local plow truck had been around last night, for which we are grateful, but had plowed a nice "roadway" across our lawn, instead of on the actual road, and had left a five foot deep pile of snow between the roadway and the mailbox to boot.
I'm not complaining, though.
I'm grateful the town plow is willing to try to navigate our driveway at all.
We live on the edge of what was once a school bus turnaround. We own the turnaround, so we shouldn't ordinarily expect it to be plowed by the town's plow at all, but it's very difficult, especially after a heavy snow, for the plow truck driver to do a three-point turn on the part of the road that actually belongs to the town, and a lot easier for him to just keep driving around the turnaround, our driveway.
So every winter, most of the time, our driveway is plowed for free. Win-win, though -- the town plow truck therefore must take less time to do the part of the road that belongs to the town, which makes the overall job of plowing marginally cheaper for everyone else in the town, since the driver is paid by the hour.
But every once in a while some problem occurs. Last year I awoke one day to find a plow truck stuck in the middle of our lawn, and had to help dig it out with our tractor before the driver could get on his way.
Yesterday's deep snow lay unplowed all day until quite late in the evening. Then, while watching telly, I heard and saw the lights of the plow truck by our mailbox.
I wondered what had happened, but as the lights and noise went away, shrugged my shoulders and went back to the TV.
This morning it was pretty clear: The driver had tried to plow our lawn again, instead of the road, and as a result had gotten jimmied up in front of the mail box and had to back up and try again to make the turn.
So I had to get busy with the Kubota and plow away and put the road where it was supposed to be, fifteen feet further to the east, as well as move that big pile of snow in front of the mailbox. Here's a shot of the Kubota with its nose buried in the snow. Such a powerful little tractor. They don't make them like that anymore.
This all took a little while, and as a result my bum was pretty cold by the time I got done. This Kubota has the old type painted metal seat. They don't make them like that anymore, either, and for good reason.
I wear insulated coveralls for this job, but today they were not quite up to it.
I also found my left hand was getting pretty numb with the insulated work gloves. I have an old frostbite injury to my left pinky, which feels the cold pretty badly.
So I went inside for my Dachstein mitts. I have two pairs of these old fashioned oiled wool mountaineering mittens left over from my RAF Mountain Rescue days. My hand recovered it's feeling right away.
What I really need is a Dachstein mitt for the bum.
Mary-dog was quite dismayed to see the snow. She knew she had to empty her bladder this morning, but couldn't find anywhere to do it that wasn't up to her nose in snow.
Poor cold puppy.
After about two seconds of this, she was asking to be let back in the house.
What a wuss she is. Southern dog.
Forecast is -7 F tonight (-22 C), and -14 tomorrow night (-25 C). But it's always a few degrees colder here at 527 feet above sea level than the forecast says it will be.
Luckily, when it's that cold, it usually doesn't snow around here.
Otherwise I'd have to plow snow again and my bum would be really cold then.