We did have a snowfall that covered the ground already this fall, but this is a March 9 photo of our road this spring. It is the merest reminder of snowfalls that we had in the past. I told one of those stories to my friends at Garden Rant last week and won a Troy Built Snowblower!
My story is of an April (yes, April) blizzard in 1982 (and I think I have the year right). It was the year we heated totally with wood, burned in an ancient Sam Daniels furnace. My husband and I set off in the morning in our one car, he to his classes at the University of Mass. where he was a student, and me to Greenfield Community College where I was on staff. It was snowing, but duty called.
By 10 am the snow was so deep and still falling so heavily that both were ordered to close. However, my husband was stashed away in a computer lab and didn’t get the word. He had the car, and in those cell phone-less days I had no way to reach him. Finally, he came to get me at 2 pm. We started our ride up Rte 2, the scenic Mohawk Trail in our little diesel Rabbit. The first 20 miles took 90 minutes even though the plows were out. It was uphill all the way to Heath.
We turned onto Rte 8A that hadn’t been plowed recently and we were pushing the snow ahead of us as we kept climbing. Halfway to our road we met the plow and followed it to our unpaved road which was not going to get plowed anytime soon. It took nearly an hour to go those 7 miles. We parked the car and started walking in. It was very cold, the snow was soft. Every time we took a step we sank knee deep. Every step. After going about 50 feet I told Henry I didn’t think I could walk the mile and a quarter uphill to our house. He said the pipes will freeze. I walked. I knew that wood furnace’s failings too well.
It took another hour to get home. The temperature was 9 degrees. The pipes would have frozen. The plows didn’t come the next day, or the next. The snow drifted so deep on our road the plow broke, and then the bucket loader broke. We finally had to ski out. We didn’t know how to ski. I leave the image to your imagination. Keeping the fire going and necking while we waited for the plow was fun though.
I should add that we never broke any more plows or bucket loaders. Our 85 year old neighbor Mabel had spent a time in her youth driving through the forests of the snowbelt in her flivver, singing hymns, as she travelled to the three Seventh Day Adventist churches on Sundays where she served as lay pastor. There was no man around who was man enough to make that rough journey. She taught us about snowbreaks. That spring we planted fast growing pines, and some balsams in three rows along the road to catch the drifting snow.
Those trees have served us well, as snowbreak, and providing up with Christmas trees. And now the story has provided up with a sturdy Troy-Bilt Snowblower! Thank you Elizabeth! Thank you Troy-Bilt.