Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Storm

There is much talk the past two days of the predicted storm. It is to move into our area late Wednesday or early Thursday. It is still uncertain where the brunt of the storm shall hit but we will probably not feel the full force of it here. How can they really tell for sure where it will be?

A winter storm brings a lot of work to the ranch. I guess it brings a lot of work wherever it hits. We spend a lot of time feeding cattle and fighting the elements. Our prayer is that the power stays on. So many things depend on the electricity, that too many days without it is costly. We have water wells, our freezers, just to mention a few things.

I remember in the year of 1971 (Oh, NO, grandma's off on another story) in the last week end of February, we had one terrific storm. The afternoon was pleasant and our family was off to my sisters, just an hours drive away for a soup supper and an evening of family fun. Our children were all small so we wouldn't be staying very late. Right after supper, it began to snow a little. (a 1-2 in accummulation was predicted) We decided to play a quick game of cards before heading on home. We did not know that the storm had started in that area earlier and that it was a heavy wet snow. We loaded in our little Ford falcon with our 3 children who were 9 months, 3 and 6,and headed for home. In a few short miles, we were concerned if we would even get home. This was before cell phones and we didn't even have a CB. What were we thinking??? The snow on the highway was deep and there was no traffic. The Rancher continued on and did not dare slow down as the snow was heavier and heavier. We passed through two small towns but the rancher insisted that we go on home as we had cattle and several sows that we were farrowing out. In time we did meet some traffic as there were Regional Basketball tournaments in the area and others were trying to get to their homes. At one point, we had trouble climbing a hill out of the River valley and a load of teen age boys got out and helped us. They were a blessing from God as they did help us get on the way but we were still 20 miles from home. The Rancher drove, the kids slept and I prayed. I am sure that the Rancher was praying too.

We reached home at 3:00 a.m., 6 hours after we had left my sisters house 60 miles away. We were tired and so thankful that we had made it. Sometime later the wind started to blow and it continued to snow through the next day. When it was over, we had accummulated nearly 3 feet of snow and the drifts were higher than the eaves on our house. We had to dig our way out. The Rancher spent hours rescueing baby pigs from their pens outside and moving them into the barn. This was during the time it was snowing. He had a lot of trouble with a huge drift near the barn. When the storm was over we discovered he had been walking over the drift that covered the combine.

Many people lost a lot of cattle, and other animals during this storm, but we were blessed. It was 3 days before we could get the tractors out and try to get to the cattle. The roads were impassible so they drove through the pastures wherever they could. By the grace of God, we did not lose our power and we had telephones. Remember we did not have cell phones and I worried until the men came home. We did a lot of praying.

This storm is brought to mind every season when the weathermen start to talk about how bad it will be. The area south had already had "The Storm of 2009". We missed that one over Christmas, and I am thankful. We can always know that as long as there is December, January and February and March, there can be a big snowstorm on the plains. In one respect, we are thankful. The snow brings an abundant amount of moisture and nitrogen to the soil. So even in the storm God blesses us.

Tomorrow, I will make sure the bathtub is full of water, the wood is carried in and some water jugs are filled. The power just might go off.


Andi said...

How scary that ride must have been!

Great story!

Dawn said...

I don't remember a thing of that ride--just the snow the day after!