We experienced a major winter dump from Friday night through yesterday afternoon---definitely shades of two and three winters ago. Bill says we can expect another on Tuesday. Still shades of two and three winters ago.
Those memories came back yesterday as we shoveled, only to have to go back out and shovel again. Bill went to town to get diesel for the Kubota tractor. He waited until late afternoon to plow. No use in doing it earlier.
He observed later that he had begun the heavy plowing operation three weeks before the beginning of official winter---a dramatic reminder of the long season ahead.
In the meantime, I kept shoveling out pathways to the barn and around the house. If I didn't do it right the first time, no worry. I could do it again.
Another distinct memory of how winter compounds the lifestyle challenges came in the early afternoon as the snow continued. I had finished a round of shoveling and had come upstairs to check email and the Internet.
No Internet. First reminder in quite some time that when snow accumulates on the dish, we must remove it to use the Internet.
No big deal, I thought. Then, I came downstairs and realized a path needed to be shoveled to the satellite dish which is attached to the south side of our house, quite a ways up.
For this task I needed a better shovel than the one I'd left at the back door. Once I found a good shovel, my cardiovascular workout of clearing a walking area around the west and south part of the house began.
While completing that job, I look across the lawn and realized the same problem could happen to the TV's satellite dish, located about 100 feet away.
More shoveling and then a quick cleaning of the TV dish. Back to the Internet dish. The ladder was buried in snow. Tugging and tugging, I finally got it upright, and convinced it to open, in spite of all its ice build-up.
Even with the ladder, the dish is higher up. So, I needed a mop or something with a long handle to reach it.
"Where are those mops?" I thought. Had to dig them out of the snow, since they're no longer useful for inside mopping but definitely helpful clearing snow from satellite dishes.
I climbed the ladder with mop in hand, and, of course, as soon as I began clearning, all that snow from the dish landed right in my face.
Twenty minutes or so of work just to use the Internet. Oh well, the pathway has been broken, and it shouldn't be so hard when the snow comes again Tuesday and our Internet probably goes off.
We never received our newspapers yesterday, and, as yet, they haven't arrived again this morning. The mail eventually showed up in late afternoon. I think our mail carrier had to go back to town and wait for the county roads to get plowed out.
This morning we had about three inches of fluffy snow to dress up all the areas that had been plowed. I could see patches of blue sky as I did my morning chores. I'm sure jubilation reigns today at Schweitzer Ski Resort.
After my barn chores and while dogs followed Bill on his rounds, I took advantage of the opportunity to walk down our road.
It was so quiet and peaceful. All those evergreen limbs are loaded down with heavy snow. A slight breeze was blowing but the snow was staying put on the trees, at least temporarily.
Full daylight had not yet come, so lights from neighbors' houses looked like golden jewels across the snow-covered fields.
A sudden silence will surely come to thousands of homes across the country this morning as visitors load up and begin the journey back to wherever. In our case, Jim and Dani must drive to Grants Pass. Bill will take Annie to the airport later this morning, and she'll be back in Seattle by late afternoon.
The hubbub of a wonderful holiday weekend will end, and, almost instantly, thoughts will turn to the hubbub of the upcoming holiday season just a few weeks away.
Plus, here in snow country we'll be thinking about that next drop and how we'll have to adjust to whatever problems it may bring.
For now, the heavy work is done, and we'll enjoy the day. Looks like a good one.
May all travelers reach their destinations safely.