The year: 1992
The occasion: Thanksgiving
The problem: 18 inches of snow
Synopsis of each day:
Get up, put on long johns, jeans, sweatshirt, heavy socks. Follow this with coveralls, scarf, hat, gloves, and of course, a coat over the whole shebang.
Trudge out through the snow to the feed wagon, a pickup with a flat bed, feed bin, and hay fork on the back. Dad is in the four wheel drive tractor with a blade attached to the front. He tows the feed wagon to the various pasture with a large tow rope attached to a hook that is welded to the underside of the feed wagon. We scatter feed for the cattle and leave a round bale for the cattle.
There is only one small problem with this setup. Every time he stops, the pickup continues to slide, and the slack causes the tow rope to come unhooked. I pull my overdressed, stay puffed marshmallow self out of the pickup, dig the snow that has inevitably piled up around the bumper, and reattach the rope. This is a very tedious process. After just a few pastures I am exhausted, cold and wet.
And cranky. Remember, I was about 16 at this time...
My dad, however, is his usual chipper self. Of course, there's no reason for him to be cranky. He's warm and dry in his tractor. Granted, he climbs down from his throne to help pull twine off the bales and make sure the ice is broken, but there is most definitely no climbing on his knees and belly to dig in snow...
This was the pattern of 2 days before Thanksgiving day. Thanksgiving dawned and we continued our ritual. At around 9am we helped Mom load food into the feed wagon. Dad towed us the 3 miles to my grandparents house. We were unable to take the road the entire way due to a large drift that the tractor was unable to blade through. Dad took us through a pasture. This particular pasture happened to have a single high line pole right smack in the middle of it. It was leading to the gas well in the pasture. Dad took a left corner around the pole. Unfortunately, the pickup failed to turn. It went on a direct course to the pole. Mom began to frantically yell, "WAYNE!!! WAYNE!!! THERE'S A POLE! WE'RE GOING TO HIT THE POLE!!! WAYNE!!!"
But, of course, Dad could not hear her...
But don't worry, he eventually realized the pole was there... At the exact moment that we crashed into it...
So, I climbed out of the pickup, moved the tow rope to the back of the pick up. Dad pulled us back, then pulled back around to the front...While I again scurried (scurrying in snow that deep probably didn't happen) from back to front with the tow rope and reattached it. We continued our journey to my grandparents...
Where we had a wonderful, traditional Thanksgiving meal. Of course, there were just the 5 of us, with the roads impassable by anything but tractor!
After the meal, Dad said, "Andi, go get your clothes on, we need to go."
HUH!? I was very confused. "Dad, it's Thanksgiving! We're supposed to spend time with family, and relax, and be thankful for all we have! NOT trudge through the snow and FREEZE!!!"
Of course, Dad being Dad, told me, "Okay. Now. Go get your clothes on."
Not yet ready to admit defeat I went to my grandma. "Grandmaaaa...Dad says I have to go help him feed cattle and my coveralls are all wet and my boots are wet and my socks are wet and I already had to change all of my clothes once already today and I don't have any dry coveralls or boots to wear but Dad doesn't care, he says I still have to go and I told him it's Thanksgiving, but he doesn't care and, and, and..." I was crying and blubbering and whining....
Grandma stopped my tirade and said in her sweet grandmotherly voice, "Come here, Sweetie."
Aha! Vindicated! Nobody says no to Grandma! She'll show him....Wait a minute. Why are we going to the front door? Why is she opening the coat closet? WHAT is she DOING!?
She rummaged around a moment, and turned with her arms full....Of my granddad's coveralls and snow boots!
Obviously, I went to feed cattle. Apparently, cattle have to eat and have water even if it's Thanksgiving....Especially if there's 18 inches of snow on the ground.