By Dennis Rainey
It’s been about a decade since we had a major snow storm here. Our friend Scott says it’s like living in a snow globe! Our journey over the past week compelled me to invite you to go with us and see the best of what we saw … hey, we took hundreds of pics, but we’re sharing the best of the best with you.
Because our home is in the woods, Barbara and I love to take walks in the snow, so she prayed and prayed and prayed … and when God answered her prayers He sent some of His best snow angels to dust up our neck of the woods.
This is a brief narrative of how the past 6 days were a whole lot of fun.
Grocery store combat
With two snow storms bearing down on us, I went to the store to stock up a few essentials. My trip was checkered with three mistakes:
Mistake #1: I went to the grocery store too late. Even at 7:45 a.m.! I should’ve been in line when the doors opened at 7 a.m.
Mistake #2: I underestimated the intensity of the battle. I should’ve put on a camo football uniform, pads and helmet, and chosen a smaller cart for navigating the number of people shopping.
Mistake #3: I didn't calculate that a store with the human density of Hong Kong would have eternally long checkout lines! This picture shows one of eight lines that snaked around the store. Each was about an hour long.
In the past week, Barbara and I have taken four walks in the snow, and in her words, “I am happy as a clam!” She was dressed for success with hand warmers, insulated boots and plenty of clothing layers for the first trudge through 8-9 inches of snow from storm #1.
BOTTOM LINE: She was warm and dry for all four of our journeys.
How do you spell “CUTE?”
Barbara asked me to lean against this tree … I guess she likes the woodsman look. The cowboy hat is from Greeley Hatworks in Greeley, Colorado … Barbara and our children gave it to me for my birthday. It is one of my most prized earthly possessions.
Snowstorm #2 came through a couple days after the first. By the end of the week we were pushing through 15-17 inches of snow.
Courtesy of B Rainey Photography
At the top of our hill, we looked back at our cozy woodland home that God provided for us back in 1983. Our six kids all grew up here and they have threatened us to NEVER SELL OUR HOME. In the words of Bob Benson, there’s lots of “laughter in the walls.”
Our front door proclaims Barbara’s gift of creativity … whereever she goes, she makes things beautiful. She left the Christmas greenery up just in case we got a snow!
Our front yard … You can’t see it from here, but on the other side of the white picket fence is “Pandemic Pathway” which we built last April during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The next couple of pics were taken off our back deck. We get a lot of sunsets that declare the creative ingenuity of Almighty God. This was sunrise on the morning after the first round of snow.
Out of the thousands of photographs off our back deck, this one, taken by Barbara, is our ALL-TIME FAVORITE.
The steam and the clouds are (I think…) “lake effect clouds,” it was 1 below zero as the sun came up. The “mountains” are the front range of the Ouachita National Forest. We can see 13 ridges of those mountains from our home.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park in the distance. Every bend in the trail gave us a new look.
The bluebirds, who tried to take up residence in our Motel 6 Bluebird house, likely flew on to South Florida.
They look like Snow Centurions guarding our house in this after dark photo.
Our firepit where thousands of memories and conversations were made … and hot dogs and s’mores have been roasted.
This is evidence of our new business … we’re collecting sap from our Sugar Maple tree. Several weeks ago we set up the system of taps and tubing which drains maple sap into one-gallon jugs when the temperature is right. We’ve collected about a gallon and a half sap so far and hope to get a lot more once the freeze ends.
Did you know it takes 40 gallons of maple sap boiled down to yield one gallon of maple syrup? Our operation is a little bit smaller than the Allard family's in northern Vermont; they have over 1,500 trees and over 50 miles of tubing all automated and controlled by computers. Vermontmaple.org, if you want some … we aren’t going to have much more than a cup or so! Sorry.
We had a lot of fun on our walks and Barbara even found Jabba the Hutt’s signature on my pickup! Or if you prefer, Shrek … although I don’t see the resemblance.
See you next week for another edition of our blog.
Dennis and Barbara Rainey
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