The past year or so I have felt a bit like a nomad. Most of the time I live on the home farm with my parents, just a short walk from the creamery and the goat barn. Even in bad weather, it's easy to get to work!
The rest of the time I stay at my aunt's, watching her dogs while she is away. It's only a mile away, and some of our animals live in the barn there. The yearling goats waiting for their first babies and last spring's kids are there, as well as my old horse, the heifers who grazed on pasture there last summer, the beef steers, and a few Highland cows.
Staying down there is a good way to check everyone over more than once a day. I can check hay, water, and that everyone is in the fence where they belong.
Thursday evening I drove over to take care of the feeding and to stay the night. I took my Pontiac Vibe, which I treat as if it were a pickup truck, hauling feed around, packing it full for the farmer's market, and driving it out to the hay barn, although it has low clearance and no 4-wheel drive.
Friday morning I awoke to snow falling thick and fast, with a good 6 inches already accumulated. After brushing the snow off my car, and hacking through a good half inch of ice on the windows, I was ready to try to start for home. I had chickens, goats, and sheep waiting for their breakfast. I backed the car up to turn around, and stuck fast. No going forward, no going backward.
I called home for help. My youngest brother, Ian, answered.
"I'm stuck in Aunt Kimmy's driveway," I reported.
"I'm stuck in the driveway here," he said. He had tried, and failed, to drive to the Alfred State Wellsville Campus. "I can come plow you out once I get something started," he offered. I went back in the house, took off my coat and boots and sat down to wait. The animals would have to wait a bit for their breakfast.
Ian arrived about forty minutes later on the Mahindra. That tractor actually belongs to my aunt, but as the tractor of choice for working in the sugar bush, it often finds itself at our house this time of year. He plowed the driveway and I shoveled around the car tires. I was able to get my car our and on the road. I followed Ian home, using the tractor tracks for traction.
The sheep and goats were impatiently waiting for breakfast, scolding me for being late. The chickens had plenty of food left from the night before, but I gave them fresh water. I also left their door closed. They won't go out in a storm anyway, and the only thing the open door would accomplish was a lot of snow in the chicken coop.
When it was time to return to my aunt's later in the day, I took my parents truck. It has 4-wheel drive, and I could trust it to get me back home in the morning.