Monday, February 08, 2010

I'm Gonna Cry

Enough Snow Already!!

Now we are under another snowstorm watch. This one is coming from the west and promises, at the moment, to dump "substantial" snow on all of New Jersey.

OK, OK, I can handle it. I can. I can. I still have some places to pile the stuff with my front end loader. And I was fine shoveling the initial path out to the barn the first time.

Since I've already smashed up the tailgate of the car, it will be fine to load it up with hay again and cart that to the barn. Why I might even go over to the sandpit and pick up a few extra bales just to be safe. And, I should have time tomorrow to go buy some more alfalfa cubes.

I have plenty of food in the house, although, I am nearly out of milk, so I'll put that on a very short shopping list.

It's just that....I hate it! I hate dragging myself through the snow, or having to watch where I put my feet so I don't slip on a patch of ice. It's hard to get the stalls actually clean when the manure is frozen in solid lumps so you can't differentiate between the frozen bedding and the actually clean stuff. And filling the water trough by carrying buckets gets old too. While I did use my coil hose yesterday, it's a bit shorter than the old one, and I really had to fight the coils. I may manage to attach two hoses together which will make it better, but that too is annoying.

Fact is, everything is annoying. I think the problem is that snow forces you to do things "its" way, instead of your own. First, of course is that the spontaneity of life is lost to preparation. You can't put off an errand "until tomorrow" because tomorrow you may be stuck in the driveway, unable to go anywhere. You have to decide what rugs the horses need to wear and set up the barn so there's a minimum of tasks needing your slogging through snowdrifts.

And then, there's the imprisonment of it all. The snow forms barriers everywhere. Once you decide to shovel a path somewhere, that's the route you have to travel unless you want to shovel another one. Stepping in a drift fills up your boots and makes your feet cold, so you limit yourself to the confines the snow determines.

Of course, there is the inevitable promise of meltdown some time in the future. As bad as snow is in its frozen form, when it melts, there's nothing quite like the slop, mud and general sogginess it creates. Depending on the ground conditions before the snow, it ranges any where from a slippery surface mud to that deep abiding pull off your boots mud as the melted precipitation soaks itself into the earth trying to find a place to go.

As I look out my window now, all I can see is white. Even the blacktop road, is covered in while salt in my line of vision. Some people seem to think its beautiful, and for moments, so do I. The world is still, clean, incredible. Blue shadows paint patterns of tree branches on the white canvas of snow. Unraked leaves disappear from view under white wrapping, as if nature is telling me it's Ok that I didn't clean them all up this time. Little bird footprints decorate the back yard along with cat pawprints telling me my little stray has been touring the barn. Snow hides and reveals secrets at the same time.

But even with beauty...enough is enough!


  1. Jean, I feel your pain - truly I do. I'm set up for it here, automatic waterers, hay stowage near all horse runs, heater in feed room . . . but here I expect it, and therefore am prepared for it. Mother Nature has pulled a fast one on you - while Jersey gets snow . . . whoulda thunk so much is such a short time AND chilly temps not allowing very much melt. That Mother Nature . . . quite a temperamental gal . . pun intended. Hope the boys are fairing well.

  2. I'm blissfully pretending to know nothing about the incoming snow. It can't fall if I don't know about it, right? *G*

  3. Anonymous10:34 AM

    You've really gotten dumped on this year and are entitled to complain. I also think I find winter more of a trial as I get older. But I also try to remember that, if I want the days to hurry up to spring, they'll keep hurrying up right through summer and fall and the next thing I know, I've hurried myself right into another winter. I've decided to just take each day for what it is, since it's a day I get to have, and enjoy if I can. That said, winter can be really hard and present serious horsekeeping challenges. We're supposed to get about 10 inches ourselves starting tonight - I'd better get those errands done!

  4. I've had enough too, if it's not snowing it's cold and windy. I think it looks pretty the first time, say around Christmas Eve after that not so much. It surely does make it harder for us horse owners. I think the horses have had enough too, they are just standing around miserable munching the hay from their nets on the hay trees. Not much to do for them either. We've managed to lose two shoes (different horses) and a halter this week. I fear we'll never find them now with the new snow storm approaching.

  5. Form someone who had to live in the mountain for four long winter ... I understand your pain.

    I pratcically HATE snow, it is cold and when it melts it is ugly. We had 50 cm of snow at 100m alt (so not telling you how much where I used to live, 1m ++) but after thsi week-end, it rained, and that's it no more snow.

    easy come, easy go. Oh yeah!

  6. Mother Nature rules!

  7. but it keeps feet clean and you're not wallowing in mud? (bright side, a small one...from the woman who missed the worst of it here...)