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CLAYTION RYE

By Staff | Mar 8, 2013

Here I sit looking out a window into the dark. Why would anyone look into the dark?

My neighbors are about two miles away. If I can see their yard lights, then I have two miles of visibility.

I can’t see their yard lights.

Even the ethanol plant two miles away with its very bright night lights has disappeared.

It makes one want to ask, “Where did everybody go?”

The weather forecast is for another early-in-the-week snowstorm, something that has been happening regularly.

After receiving glancing blows from those storms, it seems that nature has drawn a bead on us because the weather maps say we are in the path of the most snow.

I guess those other storms were just for practice.

This is a two-event storm with a pause of a day between the storms. The first storm was last night.

This morning my wife and I watched for the school closings. There were a few along with many delays.

Why would two people in their mid-60s watch the school closings? It makes as much sense as looking out a window into the dark.

We don’t go to school nor do we have any children in school. But we do have grandchildren, those wonderful grandchildren.

We get to imagine what those grandchildren are doing with a day off from school.

I can remember 55 years ago hoping for school to be called off. My sisters and I would listen to the radio until the last minute before walking down the driveway to wait for the school bus.

We heard other schools closing and then wondered why can’t ours close? Finally, we would hear the name of our school and knew we had a day at home.

Those snow days were great. It seemed snow storms in the 1960s were more fierce than today. Occasionally, we would get two snow days in a row.

Not only did we have a free day at home, even our very busy dad would slow his work, going outside to make sure the cattle, pigs, and chickens were cared for. After that he would have a slow breakfast, a longer morning coffee break and good nap after lunch.

I usually had a book I was reading. My sisters had things they were interested in doing and if my dad had the television on, we might sit with and watch whatever he was watching.

Once the snow quit, we would go outside to make snow forts and dig tunnels in the biggest snow banks.

If my dad thought the cattle and pigs needed bedding, then I helped him as he threw the bales on the barn floor and I held the wires from the bales (we had a wire tie baler, but that is another story) as he broke them open and kicked the straw around.

There is not much livestock around today. Wire tied bales and bedding have disappeared with the livestock. They have given way to hoop buildings or an open front, and then big rounds bales are usually stacked close by.

So maybe today my wife and I might get a snow day, which really wouldn’t be much different than any other day around here for a couple of gray-haired people.

She will knit and my livestock chores will be making sure the dog has food and water.

We will have to watch the school closings to find out.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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