How We Move Snow

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.

Running Tales

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?

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
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7 Responses to How We Move Snow

  1. sweatykid says:

    I’ve never thought of a run as an item on my to-do list… running is truly one of my favorite parts of the day. Thanks for the post-quote — those are some great thoughts — I very much agree with her bit about the alter ego. Wild that you guys need all that heavy-duty snow-removal equipment for the farm — one more big task to take care of, yikes! Troopers.

    • Lisa says:

      Sometimes it’s hard for me to put into words why I love to and need to run, and I agree that Kristin has great thoughts on the matter 🙂

      As for the snow.. it seems like big snows are a possibility all the way from late Oct – April, or about 1/2 the year, so we’ve just got to be prepared. I feel badly for all the people (and farms) getting snow this week that normally don’t. How in the world do they deal with all this snow??

  2. lifeisbeachykeen says:

    In my head I’m a bad mofo of a runner, IRL, not so much. Sometimes when I’m running I feel like I’m going really fast, like an elite, then I look @ my garmin. HA HA HA.

    I do feel like running is a good part of my life. It makes me feel stronger and it’s just an awesome feeling knowing that I can put my shoes on, and go run 9 miles if I want to. There are billions of runners in the world, but in my personal life I don’t know *that* many, so it makes me feel slightly badass.

    I am definitely greatful for most runs, even the runs where I whine and complain that they were awful.

    I also don’t mind reading about your injury. I mean this in the nicest way possible, but it’s “nice” to read that someone else has an injury. Some blogs I read, I swear they are superwoman. Never have pain, injury, nothing. I write about my hip pain practically every time I run. Oh well 😉

    • Lisa says:

      I know what you mean, it helps to know that others deal with aches, pains and struggles too. -And don’t worry, I’m nothing close to super woman 😉

  3. Brit says:

    Sometimes I have a running alter ego, like when I have a really fast run, a particularly freeing run, or a run through extraordinary weather conditions. Sometimes it is just me slogging along trying to check something off the list. I strive to find my running alter ego because that is the type of running that I get excited about and long for. My running alter ego has been MIA since Saturday and I have just been (trying to) check running off of my to-do list. I’m a downer about running today. Sorry!

    • Lisa says:

      Don’t be sorry – you’re just normal! I think everything, even things we like or love, go through ups and downs. Hope your next run is a great one!

  4. Heidi Nicole says:

    I think running boosts my alter ego…that super awesome person that I will someday be, you know, the person that lives inside of me, that must be controlled because she is rather crazy – my running completely strokes that ego!

    Sometimes running is on my “to do list” because of training runs and such, but after my full marathon training (where I started to hate running) I’ve come to realize that it is really important to balance life and running in a way that you can truly enjoy both. Its an odd balance that is ever changing but when you figure it out it feels awesome!

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