Appreciation Needed In Blizzard Aftermath

Scooping snow is a thankless job.

We were reminded of that with the recent blizzard at our place. It may not have been as bad as ones in other places, but the snow was the worst we’ve seen in a quarter of a century. We can only recall this and another of such dire caliber.

That time, if our poor memory serves us correctly, the snowfall was much greater. Recently, local measurements were reported from about six inches to 11 inches. We think ours was on the lower side, but it was impossible to measure accurately due to wind.

Ole Mother Nature’s swift gales were the reason for the dilemma both times. Back then, it was surely a foot or more. Depth was bad, then drifting started, with accumulations of eight feet and higher common, making roads impassable for weeks.

Our livestock was stranded, and we persuaded the snowplow to let us know when it was headed that way. Upon call, our four-wheeler trailed the big grader to our barnyard only to find it was deeper than the road. We’re eternally grateful the scooper driver obliged us by moving enough snow so we could at least get to the feed and water.

Others were not so fortunate, and National Guard units were called in to assist with livestock feeding. We even went up in one helicopter loaded with feed as ranchers pushed the bales out the door while hovering over shivering cattle and horses below.

Nutritionists won’t agree with the philosophy, and we don’t either, but during times like these, we’re always reminded of our second cousin Lester’s take on water needs. He surmised “Don’t ever worry about that. The snow will blow in cracks of buildings. Livestock can eat the snow and lick the ice to get water.”

Every time a snowflake fell during our youthful days, Mom ordered us to clean the sidewalks in front and behind our store. That was a lifetime cure for us to ever want to scoop snow. Our contention has forever been that Mother Nature was the cause, and She’ll be the one to clean up the mess, even if She waits until the Fourth of July to do it.

Luckily, most don’t others don’t feel the way we do. Road crews were out ahead of, during and following recent snows. It became a nearly impossible task as paths were refilled almost instantly after being cleared. Mother Nature was showing no mercy. When blustery conditions did cease, travel ways, livestock and people were snow-blocked.

Even the stoutest bulldozers have not got some passageways open as of this writing. Good neighbors permitted passage through their property so all livestock has been cared for that we know about. Good samaritans eventually came to the rescue of homebound people, so at least they could get out in an emergency.

Too often, this assistance is given without the slightest offering of appreciation. “Oh, it’s their job,” and that may be the case. Yet, most often one generously helping another is what gets all of us get through difficult times. Thank you to everyone who helps.

Inclement weather was promised in Psalm 148:8: “Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word.” Yet, we must follow  First Thessalonians 5:12: “And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love.”