Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Different Bad

with 6 comments

We thought Sunday morning was bad, what with its dose of a slippery ice-glaze over every surface turning navigation from the house to the barn into a risky balance-testing feat.

Yesterday’s winter storm was very different. School districts around the region started announcing closures before bedtime on Sunday night! Since we were watching the Academy Awards show, it was impossible to miss the added drama of concern about the weather, as it constantly rolled across the bottom of the screen.

The number of school districts grew with each pass of the alphabetically sorted scroll. When the names of the biggest districts in the state showed up, it lent significant credence toward the probability I should plan to avoid trying to travel to work.

I hemmed and hawed over my options, ultimately making the decision before going to sleep. I would stay home.

After sleeping past my normal alarm time for a work day, I woke to discover I could have made the drive in if I’d gotten up like usual. I knew that was a possible result when I decided the night before to stay home, so I wasn’t too frustrated with myself at that point. The real concern was going to be the drive home.

Since I didn’t drive in, the plan was that I wouldn’t need to worry about the drive home.

Except, the real onset of the accumulating snow ended up happening late enough in the day that I could have worked a full shift, after all. I would have been home before things really began to get hazardous.

It was odd having stayed home from work all day when the view out the window looked so harmless. Postings on the local Live Weather Updates site of our public radio network kept warning that the onset was still coming, just delayed a bit from original guesses.

Their warnings ultimately proved totally justified.

Before the precipitation, the wind was gusting to startling degrees. Cyndie reported hearing a tree falling, but wasn’t sure about the location. I was a little nervous about venturing through the woods to look for it while the gusts were still raging.

The snow finally showed up for us around 3:30, and by 4:00, it was already hard to see beyond our property borders. We were suddenly isolated from the world, and being battered by unrelenting swarms of stabbing snowflake blades.

I succeeded in making it to the mailbox and back with Delilah, but she looked like she thought the expedition was a ridiculous idea, gladly retreating indoors when we made it back to the house. Cyndie was tending to the horses and chickens, and I figured she would be in shortly behind us.

Ten minutes later, I looked up from what I was doing and realized the visibility outside had dropped down to almost zero. The snow was coming so thick and wind-blown, I became concerned about how Cyndie was coping. I decided to gear up and go check. This wasn’t just bad weather, this was wicked!

Careful not to blindly pass her, in case she came up a different route than I went down, I squinted for signs of her outline. She was at the chicken coop. The hens had jumped one of the half doors into the barn and didn’t want to return to the coop. Who could blame them? She was hand carrying them back.

I helped to get the last two and we closed up the coop and then the barn doors.

Had I driven to work, I was planning to stay overnight at her parent’s house. Given how crazy, and sometimes even a bit scary it got yesterday afternoon and evening, I’m glad I stayed home.

Regardless how bad it wasn’t earlier in the day, it was worth it so that Cyndie didn’t have to face all this bad weather drama alone.



6 Responses

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  1. As my father would say, charity begins at home. There is no point in taking unnecessary risks in those conditions. The risks are already very, very high – so easy just to disappear in a snow drift, I imagine or simply slip and fall. And driving in that…no, there are times to retreat to be able to fight another day:-)

    Ian Rowcliffe

    March 6, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    • Indeed. Speaking of disappearing in a snow drift, I couldn’t find my favorite shovel that should have been by the door of the shop. Eventually, the plow blade uncovered it from beneath the snow a little way away from the door. It must have gotten tossed away by the wind and then buried.


      March 6, 2018 at 7:05 pm

  2. Glad you erred on the side of caution. You made a very wise choice so that Cyndie didn’t have to care for the animals alone. I wish I could have seen the two of your hand carrying the chickens to the coop.

    Jim Parker (@drjparker)

    March 6, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    • Thanks, Jim. It was so windy, I even tried walking backward part of the way in attempt to protect the poor hen from the onslaught of pummeling flakes. I’m sure we were quite a sight.


      March 6, 2018 at 7:02 pm

      • Talk about being in the thick of it! And still alive to tell the story:-)

        Ian Rowcliffe

        March 6, 2018 at 11:36 pm

      • Those three chickens are the ultimate example of survivors, given the challenges they have faced in their first year of life.


        March 7, 2018 at 11:54 am

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