We got 14 inches of snow on Saturday and awoke on Sunday to a winter wonderland complete with crystalline blue skies and pines covered in fluffy white snow. Church was closed, roads hadn't been plowed yet, and no one was going anywhere fast, so we enjoyed the unaccustomed luxury of hanging out in our pajamas until 10 drinking tea and reading books.
But reality intruded and we knew we had to get out and start shoveling. Our driveway is about a quarter of a mile long. I figured that if I shoveled for two hours a day, I could clear a path to the end on Sunday so we could get the mail and if necessary, I could call a friend to pick me up to get essentials if we ran out. By Wednesday, we'd have it clear enough to get the cars out for grocery shopping. This was important, since another storm is predicted for next weekend (although in typical weatherman style, they are still calling it a "rain, sleet or snow event" - great way to hedge your bets, guys!) We've got enough food stocked up to last a while but it's always nice to have milk and fresh fruit!
So John and I shoveled snow while Shadow played and made herself a snow cave to sleep in. She really needs to be an Alaskan or Maine dog. She loves the cold. She seems happier outside in the cold than inside by a roaring fire!
We had 1/3 of the driveway cleared and called it quits for the day. It was really funny because as we were shoveling, we talked about our options to handle future snowstorms. Should we get a snow blower? Invest in a plow to attach to the new truck we are saving our pennies for? How much would that cost? Is there another way, and is it worth it? We keep hearing that these two snow storms are just freaky, that this never happens here where we live....but how do we know? Shoveling by hand a quarter of a mile of driveway gets old...really fast. (But I did get an amazing aerobic and strength training workout.)
I said to John, "If we could only shovel or plow it down to an inch or two, the sun would melt the rest....that's all we need. Just a little help."
We called it quits and went inside to hot tea and an Alfred Hitchcock movie marathon. We were sitting in the living room watching "Rear Window" when we heard a peculiar noise. We both ran to see what it was but nothing....and the noise grew louder...an engine noise, to be sure and something else...
Then to our amazement, a man sitting atop an ancient Farmall tractor appeared at the top of the driveway...PLOWING!
We ran outside. "Who is it?" John asked.
He was an older fellow with a weather beaten face and a cap pulled low over his forehead and farm coveralls. His Farmall tractor was well used, a rusty red color, rattling and clacking away on all cylinders, but that workhorse was just piling the snow up and out of the way like magic.
He pulled up and we shook hands with our knight on the Farmall tractor. It was our neighbor (well, in the country I have learned that anyone within five miles is your neighbor - he's about half a mile down the road) who owns the neighboring farm
"Driving by," he said, "Saw you hadn't been plowed out yet. Thought that snow would collect real good down here. Sorry I didn't get here sooner. Had to get gas for the tractor."
And with our heartfelt thanks, he nodded and drove off, plowed and plowed some more until our driveway was perfectly clear.
I had such tears in my eyes I had to go into the house. It was like a scene from It's a Wonderful Life. Since when does a perfect stranger haul his farm equipment out and drive down the road plowing out total stranger's driveways?
Since we moved to Prospect, that's when.
Thank you, neighbor.. You are our knight on a Farmall tractor. We really, really appreciated it.