Saturday, March 13, 2010

as the wind blows

Seems the title of my last post was rather prophetic, even though it was a Mary Poppins reference. The weather today has been something else. The boys just watched the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" and are a little worried, given the blowin' and gustin' and gale-in' that has been going on.

And the rain. Oh, the rain! We were just starting to dry out after the great melt, and then this hit us. The boys spent the morning cleaning out the barn (more on that in a day or two) and then Primo had a gig at another farm, to help that farmer clean out her barn. Of course, he was thrilled. Manual labor, his favorite.

I dropped him off, and was turning around in the farm's yard to head home, when I hit a bit of a snag. I was driving our F150 truck, and I love our truck, because it has three key things to recommend it: (1) it has a long bed, perfect for hauling hay or lumber or whatever; (2) it has an extended cab, so the family fits comfortably in it; and (3) it is paid off. The last one, of course, is its best feature.

It's biggest short-coming, however, is that it is not four-wheel drive. In fact, it is rear-wheel drive, so it doesn't handle muddy conditions too well. The instant I felt the tires start to slip, I knew I was in trouble. I tried to gently rock it back and forth to get some traction, but no dice. My back left wheel dug a rut one foot deep and four feet long before I knew it. I was well and truly stuck.

I sat contemplating my options for a few minutes, then realized I had no choice but to confess to Val (the farmer) and Primo and beg for help. I found them pretty quickly, we pulled out the tow rope in the truck (because this may have happened once or twice before, and not always when I was driving it) and she brought out her four-wheel drive truck to haul me out.

Still no luck.

At this point Val went in search of her tractor, and I had Primo call his dad just to let him know what was going on. I was surprised to hear Primo, in his basso profundo voice, assure his dad that "we could handle it." Now, I know that he was really talking about Val's ability to handle it, since I was the one that had gotten stuck in the first place. Still, it said something about his confidence in the abilities of two women and his teenage self.

After a bit, Val appeared around the corner of the barn. It was like the coming of the cavalry. The very slow, very (John Deere) green cavalry, but the cavalry all the same. We hooked up the tractor to the truck and popped it out with little problem once we had the big guns. She cautioned me to stay on the graveled driveway as I turned around and believe me, I wasn't going anywhere off that safe haven.

I managed to make it home with only one detour, and now we are staying put. The wind is whistling, the rain is blowing, but we are more or less dry and very warm. It is definitely the kind of night to hunker down and hope the sheep are warm enough with their fleeces and shed to protect them.

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