Greetings from Minnesota. The temps have warmed up and reached almost 30 today :D, but a chilly wind is still blowing :-(.
In the life of the typical Minnesotan (and others who choose to live in snow-ridden areas) it’s simply taken for granted that the snow plow will come along and clear the roads. They may have to pay someone to clear out their driveway, or they may even have their own snow blower, but the sidewalk and the driveway are the only areas that need clearing. Don’t think I’m minimizing this job because it’s been a lot of work to keep driveways and sidewalks clear this winter!
But at the farm, moving snow is an entirely different ordeal. We always need to keep our driveway and yard plowed (or at least somewhat passable) so the milk truck and our employees can get through. We essentially have our own gravel roads within the farm – that go around the barn, calf hutches, and other buildings – so we need to have some heavy-duty equipment to keep things clear.
Forgive the poor quality of these pictures please, as my fingers were frozen. I saw my husband moving snow the other night and realized I hadn’t yet talked about this little detail of winter farm life. I knew I had to get some pictures for my readers.
The skid loader (or skid steer) in the picture above is good for scraping snow, or scooping snow and putting it into piles. (It also does cool things like scoop up haylage or silage – feed – for the cows.) Usually we’ll drive the snow blower through an area first, and then we’ll go back through with the skid loader to scrape more snow off and move snow into piles.
Our snow blower is the red contraption mounted on the back of the tractor. It blows the snow up through the opening at the top and off to the side.
This probably isn’t very exciting, especially if you live in a snowy area and see snow moving equipment all the time, but it’s an important aspect of keeping our farm functioning during winter months.
I agonized over whether to run today because I was having my usual weird upper leg tightness combined with some slight pain right behind my knee (the tendon I think) that appeared after my Tuesday run. But, the warmer temps called me outside, and I just planned to take it slow and turn around if I experienced any sharp pains.
1.63 miles was the result. Ug. I didn’t have any super sharp pain, but I think the tendon behind my knee is definitely inflamed. I could have completed a normal run, but another few miles just didn’t seem worth the risk. I must be the running world’s biggest wimp, and quite possibly the most annoying running blog you read because of all the injury play-by-play I write about. Sorry!
Let’s end this running tales section on a positive note. I sporadically follow Kristin Armstrong’s Mile Markers blog over at runnersworld.com, and I particularly enjoyed what she had to say today.
Here’s a few of my favorite words from the post. “In the midst of regular life, running is the touchstone that breathes adventure into my soul…Running reminds me that there is more to me than what is readily apparent much of the time. I don’t always need to see it, but oh how I need to know it’s there. Like having an alter ego, or a super-cool super-hero identity.”
What do you think, does running give you an alter ego? 🙂
Are you grateful for most runs, as the writer above seems to be, or do they sometimes become just an item on your to-do list?