Grateful For Wood Stoves, Generators And Bobcats

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Shoveling snow became a family affair for me, my daughter Tesia and my husband Ed.

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Courtsey photo

Peeking out of this homemade igloo are my daughters, Tesia and Nerissa Smith.

The big news of course, was the weather system that hit with a vengeance last week. The Rim Country barely had time to recover from the snow that hit early in the week before we were walloped but good from Thursday through Saturday. This is one time that the weather genies called it pretty accurately which gave us all a chance to get as prepared as possible. Of course it’s almost impossible to prepare for something as intense as what we experienced.

I’ve decided that three of my favorite things are wood stoves, generators, and friends and neighbors who have bobcats and aren’t afraid to use them! On Wednesday we were surprised by a mysterious stranger (thanks Freddy!) who showed up bright and early on his bobcat and cleared the private road leading to our first driveway, then the driveway itself. It turned out to be a good thing considering what followed on Thursday.

After watching the deluge of rain all of Thursday and well into the night, it’s not hard to see how 40 days of that coupled with the “wellsprings from the deep” opening up could flood the whole earth. In spite of the established drainage ditches, the waters jumped their banks in many places creating havoc and fear for many residents, and unfortunately, flooded houses for others. As if the fear of having everything you’ve worked for washing away isn’t enough, many of us were met with several mini power outages which finally culminated in the power failing completely. By this time the sand filtration field that is part of our septic system had flooded setting off the alarm. Usually a simple push of the button remedies the situation, but the 10 or so power failures managed to reset the alarm every time sending out a shrill screeching meant to test every nerve in our bodies. Eventually we had to disable the system since we were tired of fighting about whose turn it was to hit the switch.

I have never been so happy to see snow as I was at zero dark thirty on Friday morning. Finally, the rain had stopped. Snow? Go ahead, bring it on! Of course at that point who could have anticipated that we really were going to get several feet? By daylight we had several inches and not a break in sight. Freddy showed up again on the bobcat and cleared the road and driveway, and it’s a good thing because otherwise we’d probably still be shoveling.

My daughters immediately headed out to sled and make — what else — an igloo! The younger one didn’t last long, but once the eldest sets her mind to something there’s just no stopping her. So approximately eight hours later it was finished — a full size igloo that comfortably sleeps two and could hold four in a pinch. In spite of the fact that she was using the snow from on top the trampoline, it still threatened to break under the weight of the continuous snowfall. The trees began to droop and bend again, but fortunately last year’s storm had broken most of the weaker branches already, so we only lost a few this time around.

By Saturday, we still hadn’t received any significant power and now we were just hoping that we had enough gas on hand to make it through the duration of the storm. Our neighbor, Bob, got out his bobcat and did about half the private road we both live on before turning it over to my husband who finished the job. That gave him a chance to run to Payson for more gas since the pumps at both the Pine stations wouldn’t work because of — you guessed it — no electricity!

After almost 48 hours without power, we didn’t even notice when it went back on. I turned on the water and thought how nice that the pressure was up. Then my daughter yelled, “The fan is on!” Whoopee, this time it was for real and I immediately cooked a real dinner.

In spite of all the wonderful bobcat work, we spent some real quality family time on Sunday afternoon, shoveling snow and breaking up the 4-inch glacier that had formed on the entire driveway! Everywhere you go there are huge mountains of the white stuff and all I can say is maybe, just maybe, we can water our garden all summer long this year!

Also I must commend the gentleman who delivers our paper each morning, he is absolutely amazing — my husband has dubbed him Rambo due to his amazing ability to somehow get the paper to us regardless of the elements.

I hope that you all fared well and were not too inconvenienced by the weather and the aftermath.

A special flag ceremony was held today to honor the following students at the Pine Strawberry Elementary School: Dwayne Schank and Kayla Schank were recognized for perfect attendance for the first 100 days of school. Second, Seth O’Neal, Dakota Minear, Brittany Fleming, Tallis Kirkham, Skylar Cornelius, Maddy Abney, Foxx Tanner, Linda Lombardi, Chandler Lawrence, Devin Duarte, Dakota Denison, Benny Abney, Sara Smith, Lisa Lombardi, Tianni Lawrence, Kody Kermeen, Rachel Ralls, Adam Jergens, Erika Kirkham, Cameron McGallion, Hadyn Jergens, Wesly Goldschmidt, Laynie Brodgon and Rachel Davis all made the A-B Honor Roll. Lastly, Sumer Aguon, Sarah Sprinkle, Savannah James, Kara Ward, Caleg Paine, Davis Bullard, Matilda Kurtz and Joshua O’Connor made the Principal’s List, which in this case means that they each earned straight As! Congratulations to all of the students for their accomplishments.

Did you receive new DVDs for Christmas? If so and you have some (old or new) that you are looking to get rid of, how about donating them to the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library? The library can use them to swap for audio CD books through an online exchange service. Your gift if tax deductible and you will be given a tax receipt for all donations. If you have any questions, contact the library at (928) 476-3678.

There is still time to purchase raffle tickets for the special See’s Candy Valentine’s Day gift basket from the library. Tickets are just $1 for one, $5 for six, or $10 for 15. The drawing will be held on Feb. 13 just in time for some lucky guy or gal to win for their sweetheart. You may also purchase See’s Valentine’s Chocolates at the library in case you aren’t the gift basket winner.

The deadline to register for the upcoming online genealogy class is fast approaching. The two-part series costs just $20 and will be held Wednesday, March 10 and March 17 in the library activity room. For more information, call or stop by the library.

The Pine Strawberry Task Force has announced that they will be running regular SIREN TESTS in both communities beginning on Friday, Feb. 5 at noon. The tests will continue on the first Friday of each month thereafter. The purpose of the test is to ensure that the sirens are working properly in the event that they are needed. In the event of an emergency, the sirens will be set off and residents are encouraged to tune their radios in to KMOG (AM 1420) or KRIM (FM 96.3) for further information. If you would like to know more about this, the task force meets on the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Pine Fire Station and anyone is welcome to attend.

That sums up a wet and wild week in Pine and Strawberry.

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