On the Road


Toby and Lucy, reading on the couch at Christmas

I drive to pick up my girl Lucy from school today. I am excited to have her home for the weekend. I am a confident driver and never mind long trips except under two circumstances: twisty mountains roads with sheer drops, and snowstorms. In both cases I tend to whimper, pull over, and ask DH to drive.

This is when DH makes jokes about me needing a Big Strong Man.

I will be pushing through a snowstorm across New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire today. I may whimper, but there will be no pulling over: DH is on a business trip to Manhattan. I will have Lucy’s little dog Toby with me, as ten hours (the drive time without snow) is too long to leave him alone. Eighteen pounds, happy, and excitable, Toby is not a candidate for the Big Strong Man role.

Meanwhile I have to manage the livestock. It is due to snow all day with falling temperatures. My computer is chirping to warn me that the windchill is expected to drop to -32° F by 7 PM. I may not be home until several hours after that. (On one of my trips to get Lucy last year, we crept through a white-out and didn’t make it home until after midnight.) Over the next few days, the high will hover around 0° F.

Under normal circumstances I would turn the cattle and sheep out this morning and bring them in promptly after work. They would be snow-covered but fine. However the combination of wet snow and long hours of wind worries me. I think I will turn them out this morning, muck the barn, and bring them back in after an hour to dry stalls with plenty of hay. They won’t like spending the day inside — change in routine is always upsetting — but it will be one less thing for me to worry about.

Fingers crossed that this trip is not an epic.


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