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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

A January Chinook

We had a phenomenally gorgeous day today. Snow and ice melted before our eyes, and water ran off the roofs and down the icicles. I'm not sure what the temperature topped out at, but it was definitely in the 40s. Jackets came off and chores were done in shirt-sleeves. It was one of those days that Mother Nature throws at you in the middle of winter just to remind you what spring is like and to perhaps reassure you that it will, indeed and in time, come.
Of course, also part-and-parcel to warm daytime temps is the glaze ice that forms on every single thing come nightfall and dropping temperatures. After just having reminded Tom to watch himself on our back steps last night, I took a terrific header off them (well, it was more of a "butt-er", really) and pulled something in my thigh, of all the weird places. There was plenty more that I thought would be hurting this morning when I tried to get out of bed, but, all in all, I don't feel too bad - considering! Just one stiff leg.
Speaking of people being stiff . . . Tom's going to be just that in a day or two! Full winter had arrived before we had a chance to cover the main part of the roof on the new house with tarp, and he's been stressed about it ever since. So, with the melting temps today and the blue sky and full sun he took advantage of the situation. There was so much (now very wet and heavy) snow that it took him the afternoon to get one of the 36' long sides shoveled and swept off. Tomorrow we will go back up to tarp that one side at least. Then, when the weather allows, the other side will get cleared.
After a very full week last week trying to get caught up at work, Tom headed up to the trapper cabin for some R&R Saturday night. Earlier in the day, though, he and my dad butchered a roadkill for meat for the dogs. Tom had a new skinning knife that he was eager to try out, and as he hurried out to the car to leave I called, "Do you want your glasses since you'll be doing a lot of cutting?" "Good idea," he responded and was off! Fast forward to him arriving up at the property that evening where I already was with a substantial bandage on his finger.
Seems that he did NOT wear his glasses, the blade on the new knife had been honed so keenly, and, as he said, he was already up to his elbows in muck that he couldn't really tell where the blood was coming from . . . well, you get the idea. It wasn't that bad a cut, but I guess he and my dad had a heck of a time getting it under control. My mom (who arrived home later) said that the waste basket in the bathroom told the story! But, those of you who know Tom well know that he didn't come by the name 'Chainsaw Tommy' for nothin'!
I, meanwhile, headed up to do some plowing on our 4-mile winter driveway while Tom was busy at my folks' in town. Being a Saturday and the groomed snowmobile trail next to the road busy, I had my eyes out for snowmobilers. And, all was going well until I hit one. Oh, yes, a snowmobiler. Well, actually and more specifically, he hit me.
I was plowing up a blind hill when a snowmobiler came whizzing up over the top (of the road, mind you). Since I plow very slowly, anyway, I was at a full stop in a fraction of a second. And, VERY fortunately, he was not one of the ever-too-common idiots going 90 mph. He had enough time to slow and try to drive up and over the snowbank back onto the groomed trail. However, just as he was coming abreast of me, his machine lost its traction on the snowbank, and he slid into the plowtruck.
Meanwhile, his two buddies behind him had also crested the hill but had been going slowly enough to come to a full stop. "My" snowmobiler got past me and stopped. I was so worried. Was he hurt? Did his leg get caught? How much damage did his sled sustain. Is he going to be a jerk? Will he be furious? I get out and he gets off his sled. He's the first to speak: "Is your plow okay?!" I think I kind of gulped and said, "Umm, are YOU okay?!" He was great and thought the road was the 2nd part of a two-way groomed trail (nope). He was okay, and I'm not sure if his sled was damaged or not, but it must have been scratched because he slid right into the corner of the plow. But, his snowmobile was drivable, and I think he realized a) how lucky we all were that he hadn't been going faster and b) that he was on a ROAD instead of the snowmobile trail.
Moral of the story? I'm in the process of making signs to go at each end of our plowed 4 miles that will read something to the effect of: Attention, Snowmobilers! Caution! Plowed Road Next 4 Miles. Expect Vehicle Traffic. Groomed Trail on Right, Road on Left.
And, we all were really terribly lucky. Ever couple of years or so up here someone on a snowmobile gets killed riding on a road and crashing into a truck which either they didn't see or who didn't see them.
Onto a much happier note! Three weeks to the day from the accident (we can't believe it's been that short a time because it seems SO much longer ago that it happened), Tom's brother went home today! He still has the halo which will remain on for another 9 weeks or so, a feeding tube in his stomach (just in case he can't get enough calories the old fashioned way), and a drain tube from his gall bladder. They took the trach out, and it should heal up within a week or so (they don't even do any stitches on that!). He continues to do tremendously, and time will continue to tell us the extent of his recovery.
Tom returned home last night after his 3rd week in the big city this month/year. He had some good visits with his brother and got a lot done in the office, but let's hope he gets to stay home for a little while now! We have a house to finish! And, besides, I kinda miss the big lug when he's gone. ;)

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