nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘tractor

snow duties

with 3 comments

Our first big snow arrived Saturday night. Twenty centimeters of fluff. Time to begin snow removal duties.

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This year my husband has about 30 clients for snow removal and he has been getting ready for a couple of weeks — staking driveways, buying diesel, replacing lights in the tractor array, removing stressed bolts and moving things around the yard to make moving the snow as simple as possible.

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My duties are simple and few. I set the alarm for 3 AM, print off the client list from the computer and run the checklist — water, raisins, earplugs, client list, flashlight, cell phone, “go bag”. The “go-bag” has about sixty pounds of chain, a roll of tow strapping, assorted connection devices and anything you would ever want to pull yourself from a ditch.

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I also supply diesel when needed and lunch. No set times for anything. Just a hearty meal, packed to eat on the road, when my husband gets hungry.

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lunch packed into a cooler (or in this case, a heater) … lots of protein and calories …

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Otherwise, I answer the phone, work away at various editing projects and worry. Things can go wrong out there in snow-land and they often do. A stray two-by-four goes through the blower. The tractor slips off the side of a driveway into a deep ditch. The plow for the main roads is late. There are three cars in the driveway and no one at home to move them!

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My husband is the only one I know who talks about snow and winter longingly in the middle of summer. Everyone should love their work as much as he does!

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Enjoy your snow-day where-ever you are.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017 

Written by jane tims

December 11, 2017 at 7:00 am

ready for the next snow date

with 2 comments

When I talk about my retirement, the conversation always seems to go to how busy we are.

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My days are filled with activity. I spend most mornings writing and reading. In the afternoon, I spend a smaller-than-necessary time on keeping house, making supper or going into town on errands. Evenings are divided between time with my husband and writing, attending meetings or working at some of my volunteer work.

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snowbanks in our turn-about last year

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The weather can change all of this. My husband has a 40 horsepower tractor equipped with a front end loader and a snow-blower. On snow days, he plows or blows snow from his customer’s driveways. On these days, I am the ‘support worker’. I answer the phones, keep track of where my husband is blowing snow, deliver diesel when he runs low on fuel and take him his dinner.

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my husband’s tractor, a L4060 Kubota

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Our day starts at about four in the morning. First, the ruler, to measure the fallen snow. Then, the first customer … us! … two passes to make sure I can get the truck out when the time comes. By the time the first refuelling call comes, the truck is cleared of snow, the bird feeders are filled and I have already finished my daily writing objectives.

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the snowman is our snow ruler … after some storms you can’t see the measurement

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When people complain about bad driving in winter, I can say that I have driven in the worst of the worst. Since most of our 25 or so customers are in the local subdivisions, we are often out removing snow before the side roads are plowed. I am lucky to have a four-wheel drive since this winter, snow over ice has been the norm.

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the first tractor we had, a great work-horse, but less comfortable for long days of work

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You might think that writing takes a back-seat to my duties when it snows. But not so. I do a lot of my writing in my head as I go about my work. In the evenings, when I drive out with my husband to collect from his customers, I am gathering writing ideas. For example, a few nights ago, as I waited in the truck, a drone lifted from a neighbourhood yard and tracked overhead … a scene for the novel I am working on was born!

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the scene where we sometimes eat our lunch


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Our lives are busy, but I love variety. I love being part of my husband’s day as he goes about his work. When I take his lunch to him, we talk and watch the falling snow and listen to the radio. And wonder where 37 years of winters have gone!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

January 23, 2017 at 7:10 am

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