The snow is coming..
I open the door and am blasted with the cold and snow as winter comes rushing at me. Somewhere between morning chores and the afternoon gray, a storm was brewing, and had now settled in to land for the 4 o’clock milking.
I shivered… and headed to the barn. Already a good 4 inches had fallen, it was coming fast. Footsteps did not trail behind me, rather 2 solid trenches, where my feet never left the snow as I plodded through and up to the milk house.
Chores were going to take longer, much longer indeed.
My eyes felt prickles of cold as I blinked to bat the snow away. I could feel my warm breath starting to condensate against the inner lining of my neck warmer.
In the emptied out heifer freestall, I hear the skidsteer banging along against the hardened manure. It would be a mess until a warm day came along to thaw and a good scrape was permissible.
First things were first; to start digging out the gate thresholds, or atleast prepare them for what was to come later that evening.
The work warms me up as I get into my groove. Shovel, shovel, shovel.
I open and close gates for the tractor and feed wagon as they come through the barn to feed.
Nosy Girl comes up on the clanking, closing gate and stretches her long neck through to reach me and the falling snow. “Hi ‘ol girl, go get your dinner. It’s miserable out here,” I coo to her as I scratch the top of her poll.
I trudge back to the haybarn, through the falling snow against a darkened sky. It will be night soon. I hurry a little more… anxious to get done and out of the weather.
In the hay barn I throw some straw on the back of the gator, to spread some extra to the calves out in the hutches. It’s going to be a cold and snowy night. The smell brings me back to the warm, 85 degree day when we stacked the barn full… sigh.
In the steamy milkhouse, Kitten Little meows and rubs against my leg, looking for a little warm milk in her dish.
I mix a little extra replacer to give some added warmth to the bellies of the calves, they will need it tonight.
Out into the swirling snow I go, the milk house door banging behind me.
A silence falls in the barnyard, the tractor and skid-steer are for the moment,
I can hear the snow falling, falling all around me.
A chill goes down my back and the wind blows, kicking up the dust of snow that dances around the corners of the barn. And it keeps coming down…
The drifts are starting to get high, and I trapse, back and forth, through the snowy night, feeding the calves out in their hutches. I feel the weight of my hat as it collects the snow, dripping water when I am inside the warm and steamy milk house.
Excited at the activity of putting more straw down in their hutches, the calves, with snow on their backs, jump and kick, nudge as I hastily bend and distribute to the far corners of their hutch. Fun for them…
And the snow keeps falling…
My fingertips are ice cold, and my nose is runny. It drips and I swipe it with my cold, leather work glove.
I look. The light is on in the house, where I know a cozy wood stove fire burns. I can practically feel the tingle of heat that will warm me through as I sit in the old easy chair that is placed in front of it.
Snow on my eyelashes, I open the gate, let the tractor out one more time, and close it quick.
I head in… my day is done and I know tomorrow will bring its own set of challenges, as the farm wakes up and we dig it out from underneath the blanket of snow.
Silence, and the snow keeps falling…