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Our Snowbreak

The second winter here at the End of the Road there was a terrific storm. Not only did more than a foot of snow fall, there was wind. And the wind blew snow from our open fields down on to the road to our house. We were snowed in!
We didn’t mind. It is always fun to play hooky from work – not our fault! We sat by the fire, eating and reading and having a wonderful day.
But we did have to get back to work the next day. The problem was the town crew couldn’t plow our road. The snow on the road was probably about eight feet deep. It couldn’t be plowed and the bucket loader broke trying to dig us out. We skiied out (on some very odd old skis) to where we had left our car on the paved road.
The road eventually did get plowed and we learned to put up a snow fence.
Better than that though, we took our 85 year neighbor’s advice and planted a snowbreak. Our petite neighbor Mabel Vreeland had spent part of her younger years as pastor to three tiny rural Seventh Day Adventist churches in the upper New York State snowbelt. She said she drove her flivver through the snowy woods singing hymns to the glory of God. No man was up to the job, but Mabel was at the ready. She told us about all the farmers who had planted snowbreaks.
We did as she suggested, planting three staggered rows of pine seedlings we got from the Conservation Service. The snowbreak runs for several hundred feet down the hill along the road. Later we added other evergreens including balsam. Every year now we go down and cut our own Christmas tree, blessing Mabel each time. So does the road crew.

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