Missing Out

I am currently in Fargo, ND at a nice hotel. My home is 300 miles to the west. Since Tuesday, the residents of my town have been having a rip roaring blizzard, and I am missing it! For the first time since we moved to our town in 1988, my office has been closed for three days in a row due to the weather.

I love snow storms. I should preface that with the disclaimer that I love being in a snow storm while in my warm home with a full refrigerator. Friends are sending videos of their yards, their stock pens, their barns full of goats and leghorn chickens, and I am so jealous. We have been in a drought, and this moisture is welcome, but it is hard on the cows and their new calves. The header photo is of a friend’s cow on Wednesday during the storm. As she says, “the price we pay for moisture”. I should add my friend and her husband provide good protection for all their cows in various ways. I don’t know why this one was out in the open and looking so pathetic. Another friend just reported that her snow day was ruined by the discovery of a mouse in her house

My next task is to drive home on not such good roads. If I were at home, I would spend time staring out at the snow blowing by, gauge the depth of snow in the driveway, perhaps bake, and maybe take a nap. As it is, I will just bless the snowplow operators and keep both hands on the wheel.

What don’t you want to miss? What do you like to do during a snow storm? Any good storm stories?

38 thoughts on “Missing Out”

  1. 1, Most meals
    2. watch through the window of my warm cozy house and marvel at the power of nature
    3. Too easy to fall back on the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. Drifts almost covered the front door of our split-entry townhouse in Bloomington. We were worried we might not be able to get out. Garage door was exit option two, but the snow was waist-high there so we would have been wading through that snow. Our cul-de-sac didn’t get plowed until day 3, I believe, so we were cooped up for at least 72 hours.

    I remember one year in the early 80s when we lived in Carlton MN and had a brutal winter. Three blizzards of at least 12″ in the space of about a month. No snowblower back then either and a good-sized driveway to shovel so my wife could get to work. I was able to walk to work (fortunately). And then it got C-C-CCOLD. Something like the temp didn’t get above zero for two straight weeks. Nights were routinely 30 below.

    It was actually the inspiration for the winter in which I set “Castle Danger.”

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I had to look up the location of Carlton. Next to Cloquet and Duluth. It must have been bitter cold. My experience of the 91 blizzard was just like yours, Chris. Then, for months afterward, there were washboard roads due to the layer of ice and snow that formed with the initial rain that froze, then collected layers of snow. Those roads bumped and shimmied the cars until it all finally melted in the spring. My chiropractor said she did a lot of neck work that winter.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Yes, Winter 1991 was horrible. I had to drive from Bloomington to Hopkins for work and my suspension took it on the chin that winter. I managed to avoid any extra chiropractic work–although I’ve been going to Chiropractors regularly since the early 80s.


        Liked by 2 people

    1. What’s the rush? Please don’t put yourself at risk, Renee. Chris will survive another day by himself, I’m sure. Use the day to pamper yourself, relax and read a good book.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. OK, so you’re at a nice hotel, make the most of it. Take advantage of whatever amenities they have. Exercise room, pool, sauna. Get a pedicure, manicure or perhaps even a massage. Live it up, woman. Treat this as an unexpected gift from the universe. And don’t forget to make reservations for best dinner in town. (Calm down, PJ, she’s in Fargo.) 🙂

          Liked by 5 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Renee you better do what PJ says or she will have to go up there and make you stay! Although, I do agree with PJ—we do not need to lose more of our Baboon Cadre. Yesterday evening when I read through a link of a 2016 post put up by Bill, I was amazed at our long term stability. I do not want to miss out on Baboon life.

    When I was a foolish young adult with a very large, active toddler, we ventured out into a storm to go “home” to be part of the family for either Christmas or Thanksgiving. We got stuck at the end of a road that was no longer plowed, and had to wait for several hours for a plow to clear the road. Then we followed the plow to safer roads. This was somewhere in Northern Iowa or Southern Minnesota. While we waited I was changing diapers and trying to entertain the toddler who was most unhappy with the situation. Then I had to pee. We had a fully stocked winter survival kit in the car. I had to squat over a 14 oz can that was part of the kit to pee because the snow outside was so deep there was no squatting possible there. I overflowed the can onto the floor mat. Between the diapers and myself it was a mess. But it was so cold nothing smelled. it all froze solid.

    Now I think, “What were we even doing out in that kind of weather?”

    Liked by 6 people

  3. As a hospital nurse there were many times I had to go to work in lousy weather/road conditions. But the Halloween blizzard of 91 occurred over my weekend off. Once all the snow stopped, it was beautiful to look at but I was so happy to be snug and warm in my little condo.
    Right now I am glad to be missing out on the miserable weather in MN. I am enjoying the sun and warmth of Tucson for a week – hiking in the Catalina Mts. and Saguaro Nat’l Park East, a planned sunrise hot air balloon ride on Easter morning, eating at fun restaurants, etc.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. The road is now open to Bismarck. I am trusting all the semi trucks that were stuck in Jamestown to help chip off the ice on the road west. I will leave early tomorrow morning.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Hi-
    I enjoy all the seasons on the farm; they all have their place. And in winter I enjoy the quiet and calm of the world. So-to-speak, while listening to the wind howl and blizzard snows blow. But still, I know the outside world is sort of still and at rest. All the better now days when I don’t have cattle to deal with or cows to milk or manure to haul. More than happy to stand inside and look out the window at it.
    I’d complain about having to move the snow, but I get to spend time in the tractor with a cab and heat and the dog and a radio… so, hard to complain about that either. As long as it all works.

    February a few years ago. Our septic tank backed up into the house. (technically it didn’t back up, the pipe plugged up so nothing would go out, but that was 90% water, so it’s not as bad as it sounds. And not deep, just made the floor wet).
    We got a snow storm too. And the snowplow tractor had a bad tire and was loosing air and fluid. (Fluid in the tubes add weight for traction)
    I made a path the next day, dug up the septic tank (ground wasn’t frozen on top if the tank), Had a tire guy out to fix the tire, had the septic tank guys out to fix that, PLUS got an implement delivered, and had a salesman stop in. It was kind of a crazy day that didn’t take a lot of labor on my part; it was a case of surrounding yourself with people that know what they’re doing and letting them do their jobs.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. The header photo reminds me of the story Laura Ingalls Wilder told in one of her books, probably The Long Winter, about Pas going out after a bad storm and having to go from one cow to the next and free their muzzles that had frozen to the ground.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. cattle do remarkably well as long as they can get out of the wind and they stay dry. A wet cold cow is pneumonia at best. And a calf born in this weather doesn’t stand a chance unless they’re somewhere sheltered. Mom will clean it and dry it as best she can of course. But being born in a mud puddle doesn’t bode well. And the temperature variations are terribly hard on them too; They got the thick coat you know. 60 one day and 20 the next is hard. Heck, it’s hard on us too.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I like to be at home with a good book or a crochet project, a fire in the fireplace, and a warm dog. I like that so much that it has made a winter-lover out of me. Well, not actually a winter lover but a winter liker. I enjoy cross country skiing or snowshoeing but my favorite activities are indoors, in front of the fire, with something warm to drink.

    The Halloween Blizzard does spring to mind, of course. I shoveled and shoveled and turned around and shoveled again and again. I exhausted myself before noon. I was scheduled to work at 1 and I intended to leave at noon to get there on time. I tried, I really did. I left but it took me a half hour to get from my St. Olaf neighborhood of Northfield to Dundas! At Dundas, there was a sheriff car blocking the road. He asked me where I was going. I told him. He said, “Not today. You won’t be going to work today.” I don’t know why I was in such denial. I was really trying to get there. So I turned around to go home. No cell phones then and it took me another half hour to drive back home. I called when I got there but they said they were no longer expecting me to show up for work. They knew I would never make it and hoped I was safe. That was nice to hear. So I drank some warm liquids, changed back into my snow bibs and went back out to shovel again. Around 5 that evening, my landlord stuck her head out and said, “Oooh, I have a snowthrower!” She was always kind of unpleasant to me. She had to have heard me shoveling all day. At that, I said, “I’m sorry, I just can’t do it anymore!” And I went in, took a shower, fell into bed and slept until the next day. I had to shovel again the next morning, and shovel through a huge bank of snow too. Part of living there and renting from her meant that I had to do all the maintenance work on the house, plus pay her rent. She wasn’t a very kind landlord. I ended up moving the next spring. I felt like a slave.

    One other winter storm was spent with my dad. It was snowing hard but dad was restless. He didn’t want to be at home in Owatonna with Mom and my brothers and I. He and Mom argued about it but he was determined to drive from Owatonna to our partially finished new lake home near Cannon Lake west of Faribault. What he wanted to do was get drunk. Mom insisted that he take me with him. I wanted to go but I always knew that he didn’t like me very much. The only way she would allow it was if he took me with him. I think she thought it would prevent him from drinking but of course it didn’t. He poured himself a drink and had it with him in the Blazer as we drove there. Every time I spoke, he told me to be quiet. So I just decided to be happy about going to the lake. We got there, he went upstairs and I went downstairs to my room. I stayed down there, watched the snow fall, read books, walked outside to the lakeshore and back to the basement door. I barely saw my dad and I think he got good and drunk. I played and slept with Gus, our Norwegian Elkhound. The next day, Dad made breakfast and said very little to me. We got back in the Blazer and drove back home. I don’t know why I remember that, I just do.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t feel sad about it, PJ, it’s just the way it was in our family during those years. I thought it was normal, of course. I think I was maybe 10 or 11.

        Liked by 3 people

  8. I don’t want to miss ANYthing. It gets difficult at times.

    I love just hanging out with loved ones during a storm, maybe making popcorn, watching a movie, reading, doing a jigsaw puzzle. We’ve had a few days like that this winter, though not usually a real blizzard – just enough of an excuse to cancel things and stay put.

    For the ’91 blizzard, I remember Joel’s favorite cousin had been with us for the weekend. It meant he got to stay an extra day, eating and organizing his candy… so everyone was happy.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Husband was shoveling out the driveway when the neighbor across the street came over with his snow blower and he blew out the driveway. He and his wife get a peach pie and some Easter bread. Husband said the snow was 2 feet deep across the driveway, with higher drifts in places.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. The main thing I remember about the Halloween blizzard is that we had only been in the house for about five months and we didn’t know any of the neighbors very well yet and didn’t feel like we could ask to borrow a snowblower.If you’ve been to my house you know what a huge long driveway I have but in my previous house I had almost no driveway so a snowblower had not been necessary. We did buy one the week after Halloween however.

    The other storm story I think I’ve told here before was driving in the early morning and it turned out to be icy and I spun out on 94 ( it was so early in the morning I didn’t hit anyone or any side rails either). But when I stopped to get gas about an hour later I had to shove my way out of the car and thousands and thousands of pieces of little ice broke off the car and sprinkled down — it sounded a little bit like a celestina.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I missed the 1991 Halloween blizzard. I was in Denmark saying my final good-bye to my mother. Hans called and told me about it. At first I thought he was kidding, there couldn’t be that much snow that early in the year, but I soon learned that it was real. I have no regrets about missing it, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I am focused on being there to take care of her, right to the end, which is why I am going through all of this pain of intense PT to keep my balance and leg strength and to live through the back pain and neck agony. I of course no longer take care of her alone, or do the bulk, but I am there everyday. So what I don’t want to miss, to put it oddly, is her death. My own fear, with good reason, is that i will not be able to drive over. But I will find away, if the neurology is what it appears to be.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Is it your sense, Clyde, that Sandra is near death, or are you merely acknowledging that it is the inevitable outcome, eventually? I hope she has lucid moments when she recognizes you and knows you’re there.


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