Home > Trip > Dispatches > Local Dispatches > Local Dispatch #10

December 10, 2011: One Step at a Time

The day after a snow day is in sharp contrast to snow days themselves. Quite often, the low hanging clouds have been replaced by sun and blue sky. And the previous day’s muted white snow mounds are bright and sparkly.

And those who have been somewhat housebound now feel obligated to get outside. If you’re an adult (and I now fit into this category) you are duty-bound to make Point A to Point B accessible. The snow’s gotta be moved. Gotta make it so that it’s easy to get to the goats, the cars, the outhouse, the horse pen, the manure pile, the main cabin, the woodshed, the generator shack. And gotta make it easy to get in and out. This

One step at a time
One step at a time

is all there is to it. Otherwise, life until April will remain a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, slowly. I detest having to slog, takes too much energy. And so does Pete. The dogs aren’t too fond of it, either.

So this is what we do, with scoop, shovel, and plow. Steps, trails, driveways, gates, and the like are cleared. And when it’s really bad, we head upward, and push the snow off roofs. Got quite a few roofs here. There are roofs on the four cabins, horse shed, outhouse, tack room, chicken coop, and goat shed.

Cleaning up becomes a piecemeal production after a large snowfall because it all can’t be done in one day. Plus, gotta do other things, like ride horses. Yesterday, after some clearing, we took the horses out. Carol Clemens rode Tinni, I rode Signy, and Pete rode Siggi.

The road was icy, the horses cautious. The Christmas tree cutters were out in large numbers, getting their annual spruce. The cars and trucks were lined up on both sides of the two Murphy Road trailheads. Dogs, kids, fathers, and mothers were out in droves. The horses all handled the ho ho quite well, picking their way around the men with trees on their shoulders.

This got me to thinking—some people come all the way out to our residential area to get their trees, driving for at least an hour to get here from Anchorage. They must have plow truck guys tend to their driveways. And they snow blow their walkways. This is okay; however, it’s not a life I would choose. I much prefer this supposed life of hardship, which sometimes involves taking one slow step at a time.

Next: 11. 12/11/11: A New View