Oh, the stories we tell.
Winters now are never as bad as the winter’s of our grandparent’s youth, when they walked to school — up hill, both ways — in cardboard shoes — and they liked it!
But yes, 2009 -2010 looks like one for the memory book. The snow at Two Mile was deeper than I’ve seen here, and the drifts and snow mounds rival what I remember as a kid. The wind has moved the drifts — nearly deck high around the cabin, two duck deep in the pens, but there is a clear, drift free area just in front of the chicken coop which makes it easy to feed, water and check on the chickens.
It was a year ago that we saw temps pushing 60 degrees, and then plunging enough to cause my underground water line to freeze. This year, I can hope to avoid that lesson. On our coldest days, 17 below zero, the water flowed, the drains ran, the heat worked and the Internet stayed connected. It almost made me think I was living someone else’s life.
Now, after a week of warmer, 30 degree days, the snow is manageable, the drive is nearly clear, and I can dig out the chicken coop and let the ducks wander down to the pond.
I need to remember to let the ducks take care of themselves. Every time I try and intervene, I learn a life lesson, similar to the old joke I’ve heard.
It’s the story of a man, and his faith.
The man’s home was surrounded by flood waters during a nasty storm and before long, a rescue boat came close and they yelled at the man through his window to evacuate into the boat. But the man told the rescuer’s his faith would protect him and to rescue someone else. The boat left and the water rose. So then man scrambled to the roof of the home.
A second boat came, this time with more urgent pleas, but the man refused, saying his faith would protect him.
Finally, as the flood waters nearly covered the roof of the home, a helicopter hovered overhead. They lowered a rope which the man refused, saying his faith would save him.
Minutes later, he was swept away and drowned. (No, that’s not the funny part)
The man meets his God and asks, “God, how could you let me drown? I put my faith in you and you did not save me.”
And God replies, “I sent two boats and a helicopter, what else did you want?”
This story crossed my mind, after I learned a life lesson on Sunday last. It started when I shuffled a path from the duck pen to the pond and let the ducks out to swim. I don’t know for sure, but I have to think that to ducks, 35 degree water is warmer than 0 degree air. By the end of the afternoon, I walked down to try and herd the ducks back to the pen.
All nine ducks got out and started back. They could not see a path or grass, just white snow everywhere they looked. Five of them continued on to the pen, the other 4 went back to the water.
Here is where I made the first of my mistakes. I should have let them figure it out on their own, but what resulted was me, trying to herd / encourage the ducks out of the water, only to strengthen their resolve to stay in the water and for me to fall through the ice
To paraphrase the joke,
“Why didnt you tell me it was a bad idea?”
“You fell through the ice 4 times, what more did you need?”
By the next night, all the ducks were back in the pen. If the four straggler ducks could talk, I’m sure they will be telling the others that their trip to the pond was “up hill, both ways…..and they liked it.”