Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 3-11-13
We got wiped out — twice in five days — by good ol’ fashioned snow storms that were blizzards in lots of places, but only welcome nuisances here in my part of the Flint Hills. Here at Damphewmore Acres, we got 10- to 12-inches the first round and 3- to 4-inches in the followup.
But, today the temperature rose into the 40s and the snow is settling and melting. We won’t get much runoff, if any, but the moisture will sure be good for the wheat and the pastures and will make it easier to get runoff if it ever rains.
Since the snow covered such a huge agricultural area, and since I have my “news hounds” on full alert at all times across the Ozarks, the Plains, and the Mountain West, I got tipped off to a few “incidents” that were related to the storm. Here’s the first one:
A big-hearted, good Samaritan aggie decided to use his big tractor, blade and front-end loader to clean his neighbor’s driveway and lots, after he’d pushed the snow from his own farmstead
The snow wuz drifted pretty high as he made his way down the road to his neighbor’s driveway. The drifts had obscured the width of the entry into the driveway. To the Samaritan’s dismay, and imminent danger, he missed the driveway with the rear wheel of his tractor and in an instant found himself in a precarious predicament as the tractor slid into a deep ditch and was but a smidgeon from overturning with him in the cab.
An urgent cell phone call brought kinfolks and neighbors to the rescue but all they could do was carefully extract the Samaritan from danger. They dared not try to extract the tractor for fear of turning it upside down. So, they called a wrecker, but the wrecker owner said he couldn’t risk doing the job.
So, the tractor did its balancing act overnight and the next day the Samaritan hired a winch truck with a 70-ton capacity. By carefully threading a huge strap around the bulk of the tractor, the winch truck lifted the entire tractor to safe ground.
While he welcomed the safety of his tractor, the Good Samaritan still had a hefty expense to pay for his good intentions. I guess it shows that sometimes it doesn’t pay to be a good neighbor.
Here’s the second incident from the High Plains: A grain farmer sold a few truckloads of his home-stored grain to the local grain elevator a few days before the storm hit.
Before he loaded his grain on the truck, the farmer decided the truck tires needed to be retired from duty (pun intended). So, he took his grain truck into the local tire store and had new rear tires mounted and installed.
Alas, when the farmer had the first load of grain loaded and headed to town, imagine his surprise when he noticed one of his new tires speeding ahead of his truck and instantaneously his fully-loaded truck sunk to its axle on the side of the gravel road.
Yep, it turned out that the lug nuts on the new tire had never been tightened into place.
Long story short, again there wuz a hefty price to be paid for a tow truck service and the purchase of replacement parts.
And, finally, here’s the third incident: The day before the storm the wind wuz blowing at breakneck speed. Two-pickups met at a pasture gate and the driver of the first pickup made a well-intentioned gesture of neighborliness to open the pasture gate.
Bad idea. As soon as he cracked his pickup door, the wind caught it and jerked him right out of his pickup seat and then slammed the door into the front side-panel of his truck. The result of his good intentions was, again, a hefty repair bill to pay.
When I go out to do chores this evening, I’ll sure try to be careful and not injure myself or get any equipment into trouble. I already could have been hit by a sliding mass of snow that ejected itself from our home roof. Luckily, I had already cleaned the snow out of the area it landed on.
Best I close this week with a few words of wisdom about snow storms. Columnist Earl Wilson said, “Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough.” And, Samuel Taylor Coleridge said, “Advice is like snow — the softer it fall, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.” Have a good ’un. ❖