Digging Out

Around here the first snowflakes of the season usually fall in October or November. They are slim, lazy snowflakes that leave just a peppering of white on frozen grass. Sometimes we’ll have a full covering by Thanksgiving, but often that waits until December.

Not this year.

When I mentioned snow in the forecast during my last blog post, I’d seen predictions of 2-4 inches. I closed my eyes, and prayed we would only get a dusting. It’s not that I hate snow; I just don’t like it in large doses.

Big snowfalls are simply tough on livestock farms. We’ve got to spend hours moving snow around barns and cattle pens and worry about our employees and milk truck getting through on snowy roads. Around here I also shovel out calf hutches until I think my shoulders may simply fall apart.

Early season blizzards can spell even more trouble if field work isn’t done, or barns aren’t quite ready for winter yet.

Before I get to the snow and the shoveling, let’s back up to Saturday.

It seems like weeks ago, but on Saturday we still had dry grass and brown landscape. I wanted to take advantage of some late fall running, so I drove over to a small Veteran’s Day 5K. The morning was a chill 30 degrees with a strong wind, but at least I knew I wouldn’t get too hot!

We did an out and back route through a wooded, hilly park, and I felt good about my pace as crunched over the brown leaves. I settled into the back of the lead group of runners at the start, and I mostly stayed there. I could see one woman bobbing ahead of me in a pink jacket, but I could never quite catch up to her. I didn’t loose ground either, and I finished the race at 23:00 flat as second female.

The course was definitely a little short (so I’m not counting this as a PR), but on freezing legs I was happy with this race. The best part was getting my medal from an older gentlemen who was a Korean War veteran.

Happy Veteran’s Day, and a huge thank you to all veterans and their families. I feel those of us who are civilians can never truly understand what you sacrifice. I was also honored to run with many veterans during Saturday’s race.

The next day my legs were tired but fine, so I decided to take advantage of the cool late afternoon and dry roads. I ran about 10K and knew it might be a little while before I’d be back on dry roads.

Snow was coming. By this point the forecast was saying 8-12 inches, and winter storm warnings were in full effect. We spent much of Sunday checking on animals, closing up barn curtains, and moving things that might be in the way or get buried in snow.

I still hoped we’d be on the edge of the storm, but I was starting to accept the inevitable.

Monday morning everything was already white.

The snow continued falling the rest of the day, and the piles we pushed continued to grow. I don’t know for sure what our total was, but I assume 12-14 inches+.

IMG_0907.JPG This is not a normal pile for early November!
I also nabbed a before-and-after view. I’d say these were taken about 16 hours apart.


The worst is definitely past, but we are still digging out. The next week or so looks like a deep freeze with lows reaching zero, but after that I see 40’s. I am hopeful.

I suppose I’d just like another taste of fall before we hit four months or more of winter.

Truth be told, I get winter anxiety at times. I worry about the farm — the animals, people, and facilities. I worry about driving conditions. I worry about getting all the work done. I’m trying to release some of this (all of this) because I know God doesn’t want us to worry.

“For who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27

That’s a verse that often comes to my mind when I know I shouldn’t worry, but I think a better one comes from the Psalms. King David wrote the Psalms to praise, but he also wrote them to cry out in fear, anger, or sadness when things were hard.

“Trust in The Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart .” Psalm 37: 3-4

While our pastures might be drifted full of snow at the moment, I know The Lord will watch over us this winter, and He will bring spring again.


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.
This entry was posted in Agriculture ( in general), Christian Reflections, Cows, Race Reports and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Digging Out

  1. Rebecca says:

    Ahhh, I need a daily reminder of the Matthew verse. πŸ™‚

  2. Suzanne says:

    Keeping you all in my prayers this winter. I would be worried about all the livestock too. We don’t even get that cold here but I haven’t let the dogs or cat out this week for very long with the temps in the 30’s.

    Love the medal and shirt from the race you did!

  3. Pingback: Running Through 2014 | Cow Spots and Tales

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