Tuesday, April 11, 2017


The wind blew the large maple branch from the yard into the driveway.

We had a 9:00 a.m. appointment with the plumber at the farmhouse, so we wanted to be on the road by 7:00. While I love to get up in the morning, I don't bustle around well for a couple of hours, so I had things ready to load the night before.

And Mike was ready, too, having hitched the trailer to the pick-up. Last trip we brought the 4-wheeler to town. This trip we pulled the Cub Cadet riding mower (new last year) back to the farm. Long story short, the Cub Cadet was recalled, and the local contractor was slow in getting it from the farm and even slower returning it. So, Mike decided to trailer it back himself.

Lid -- somewhere out there
It was a dark, dreary, rainy day as we drove out Webb Ridge to Hwy 95. We knew that snow was predicted in the upper country, and sure enough – as we climbed higher the rain looked thicker and thicker until finally it was snow. Russell Ridge Road was snow floor. We used 4-wheel drive over that last mile into the farm.

The wind tore the second story door off its hinges.
We immediately noticed the effects of the regional windstorm that hit last Friday – the same one that blew Mike off his bicycle. The wicker rocking chair was upside down in the yard, now covered with wet snow. And that big branch that snapped off the maple tree during the winter had blown into the driveway, even though I personally was incapable of moving it an inch. Sections of the old compost bin had blown into the north field. I managed to rescue the top which I wanted to use as my town bin, but the lid is missing. I can just see it soaring through the air, landing in a spot where I may never find it.

Our plumber is a friendly, outgoing guy out of Orofino, but we can count on him to get lost every time he comes. Thank goodness for cellphones! He was only a little late. He quickly determined the problem area and set to work to remove a section of drywall from the kitchen ceiling.

A snowy morning
A better afternoon
The noise of the high-pitched saw was making the dogs nervous, so when I suggested a walk, they didn't need a second invitation. We walked down the lane and up Plank’s Pitch to the driveway of our nearest neighbor and then back. The snow was melting and it was sprinkling rain. I didn’t take the camera, and I didn't see any interesting blooms. The dogs were wet and dirty when we returned, and my feet were soaked.

Now we need a drywaller.
While we were gone -- about half an hour -- the plumber re-soldered a tee under the master lavatory, the source of the leak. He also fixed a troublesome trap leak on the pedestal lavatory in the main bathroom upstairs, and then he and Mike had a long conversation about winterization techniques which resulted in his adding a ball valve to the hot water tank. He was gone by 11:30.

After lunch, I did some housework and then joined Mike outside where he was cutting up the downed maple branches. He hauled smaller pieces to the burn pile at the pond and cut larger pieces for firewood, which we subsequently loaded on the trailer and brought back to town to augment next year’s supply. It wasn't much -- just two wheelbarrows full -- but it's always satisfying to use what comes our way.

Another storm in the distance
We had planned to plant some trees – you know, the kind you get from Arbor Day with your donation, about two in 25 of which will survive – but I said no. It’s still too cold – too much danger of frost – and besides, it was getting late, we were tired, and a storm loomed on the horizon. Those trees may not live to be planted, and if they don’t, we’ll get something else.

Arriving back in Clarkston, the sun was shining with no hint that the day had started so drearily. But -- it was 32 when we got up this morning, and while it's warming quickly, more rain is predicted. KW


Chris said...

Glad you got your plumbing issues fixes, and even, maybe, did something to forestall future problems. We woke up to snow Monday morning. Winter just doesn't seem to want to end, does it? I keep remembering the year we had several inches on June 10; maybe it will happen again this year.

Are you keeping your baby trees in the refrigerator?

Kathy said...

Mike questioned the plumber about using his air compressor to drain the pipes. He'll probably do that next year. However, we DID drain the pipes, but a little moisture evidently caused one of those "ts" to pop. It's just a harsh winter environment and we take the bitter with the sweet.

We-e-e-ll, I admit I didn't care too much about the Arbor Day baby trees. It's easy to get carried away with the mail order plants and lose interest when they arrive and need attention. I put them in the garage where it was cool, and the other day I planted them in pots so that they are now outside. (I can easily set them in the garage if temps drop to freezing again. I even remembered to water them yesterday. Only time will tell if they are going to survive.

Seems like we could mostly depend on a certain weather pattern as we grew up, but any more it's a "wait and see."

Hallie said...

Oh good! I'm glad you put the trees in pots. I have a couple volunteer maples that I put into pots as an experiment. I kept them inside through the winter, which I probably shouldn't have done. I think they are confused, but one is very happy. She recognized spring and is growing beautifully. The larger one is outside now. She hasn't quite embraced spring, but the season just got here yesterday.