The Unstucking: A Tale of Tragedy and Blessing (Part 1)

My wife says I often over complicate things. I don’t think she’s wrong in that assessment. I can recall many situations where I made things more difficult in my effort to make them simple. It’s worse when I’m presented with a simple solution and my pride gets in the way.

Recently we returned home from a wonderful tour through the American southwest. Upon our arrival I got the trailer stuck at the end of the driveway. It was a bit of a trick to get the bus unhooked and out of there too and I figured I would need a 4 wheel drive vehicle to get the trailer out.

We have such a thing, but it was buried up to the windshield in snow and ice. Plus it was parked down by the shed and a couple hundred feet away from the driveway. There is four feet of snow over that distance. That means I need the snowblower on the tractor to move that snow.

There's a truck under there somewhere

The tractor still had the mower attachment on and the snowblower was buried in the same snow bank as the truck. Priority one: dig out the snowblower and put it on the tractor.

That was probably the easiest task. The kids were interested in helping and we had a path shovelled and had the blower out in no time. The tractor was froze to the ground and the battery needed to be charged up. No problem. Switching the attachments and chaining up the tires, no problem. The kids started digging up around the truck.

The snow drift in front of the shed where the tractor is parked must have been closer to five feet tall and I started in. I made it about six feet before calling it a day.

Before beginning all of this, a good friend of ours picked up some groceries for us while we were still driving home. She brought them to the end of the driveway and we carried them by hand to the house. We were thinking she just had a few bags for us but were quite surprised to see a vehicle full of everything we would need. What a blessing!

I felt no pressure to get us out and we were content to be “trapped” in our house as the temperature was really cold. I told the kids we were like the Swiss Family Robinson as we would trek out to the trailer with a cardboard box on a rope to bring our belongings to the house.

The next day started with a battery charger on the tractor. It’s been bitterly cold here and the darn thing won’t start. As we waited, my boys and I started with shovels in front of the truck. More than once I got a scoop of snow crystals down the back of my neck from Titus randomly flinging snow around.

It didn’t take us too long to make a sizeable trench. There is a fresh layer of powder on top, an icy crust thick enough to walk on, more powder, another thinner crust and finally a layer of snow crystals. The top layer clumped well enough to scoop easily and the middle layer made for nice igloo blocks. The crystals are like sand and flow back in the hole if not thrown far enough.

The tractor finally started and I pushed on, making a path wide enough to drive the truck through. I made it half way to the driveway and crushed the plastic shoot for the snow blower. It’s been falling apart for a couple winters now, but now it’s nearly off. Some farmer fixin and away we go.

We started the truck and I dropped it into 4 low to see if it would move. Not a chance. Flat tire (sigh). Filled that up while digging around the tires some more. Still won’t move, but the tires spin.

I called it a day and figured a couple more hours in the morning and I would be through. Worry about getting the truck moved after.

To be continued…

4 thoughts on “The Unstucking: A Tale of Tragedy and Blessing (Part 1)

  1. Wow Scott, you are a hardy bunch up North. I generally think of myself as tough, but cold and snow is where I whimper out. I just can’t imagine doing that.

    I remember one one winter my dad was stationed at an Air force base in Wyoming and we got a blizzard. He spent a better part of the morning unburrying his car in the dark as to not be late to work, just to realize he had unearthed the. Neighbors car. About then the neighbor walked out, thanked my dad, got in his car, turned over the engine a couple times until it came to life, and drive away! My dad, calm as ever, just got to work on the next car over.

    Blessings and love Arizona. Sending warm thoughts!

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  2. Oh my not fun, I have memories of doing exactly those kind of things many years ago, Not chance anymore. Good luck with the trailer and hope spring comes soon for you.

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  3. Scott!! Oh my goodness! What a mess to go home to but you seem to have the patience of Jobe and will not let it beat you down. At our age, I shudder to think of winter like that and hope not to have to deal with that again. I absolutely LOVE the pictures of little Titus (who looks even smaller in his winter garb and in the midst of the snowbanks) shovelling his heart out. I’m sure he is having fun, kids love snow!
    I hope you soon are ‘dug out’ and can move on with daily things. At least you are all home safe. 🙂

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  4. Oh my. Not the type of reception one wants to have when they arrive home. That is a lot of snow to move. Is there not a farmer with big blower on his tractor that could help out? Everything would be frozen he could make it around the trailer (unless there’s fences there) and have that cleaned up in no time.

    Good luck.

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