The weather went from pleasant, in the thirties and sunny, to miserably stinking cold.
School was canceled. Everything was canceled. The light dusting of snow never did stop. We eventually ended up with a few inches of dry dusty powder. None of that means the kids get to stay inside.
Nothing spoils an other wise pleasant day like coming in exhausted to bored energetic children. So they get to go out and play when we do. Besides, it makes chores so much more fun.
They chose to stay behind and play outside yesterday while we went to break ice in the evening. It seems like they should be old enough to stay home alone for short periods like that. Apparently not, especially with the terrible influence of the movies they’ve been watching. Trying to be like their favorite characters, one of the children, who wishes to remain anonymous, stuck her tongue to a metal bar. She managed to get free on her own without too much damage, but the evidence was there. A sore slightly bloody tongue and an odd frozen white spot still there on the bar the next morning.
No more Christmas Story for them.
We got to see the spot her tongue left when we went out this morning to break ice.
On our way out we stopped and gave the horses some extra cookies. They deserve a little extra to keep them warm in this cold weather. The heated waterers were keeping up just fine. Then we fought our way across the corrals to the unheated tanks.
Half way across the children collapsed to the ground. They couldn’t go any farther. The trek through the snow was more than they could handle. They took turns pulling each other up then collapsing on top of each other.
After that bit of rest rolling around in the snow they were rested enough to carry on.
Once we reached the cows I left the children to break ice while I gave my pet cows some cake. Soon the children let our cries of distress. The fork part had fallen off the pitchfork. It sank away to the bottom of the icy cold water tank. The three of us stared forlornly into the depths. We could see the tines down there, just sticking out of the muck.
With the handle and the ice breaking bar we fished around, stirring up the muck. I took off my sunglasses and handed them to my son to hold. Peering into the depths I could see a little better. Fishing around I hit it a few times. I also dipped my gloves in the water. Shaking out the icy water I went back to fishing.
Pretty soon a bare hand reached into the water in front of me. My son had decided to get the ice out by hand since our pitchfork was dismantled. I yelled at him about playing in water while it’s below zero. He put his gloves back on. Then continued to pick up ice chunks with gloves on.
Luckily the fork caught on the handle and I was able to slide it up the side of the tank. It was just about to break the waters surface when something else splashed into the water.
My sunglasses, forgotten by my son as he amused himself clearing ice, had fallen in. In that split second I pondered all my choices in life. What choices had I made that brought me to this terrible cross roads? We needed to fork to keep the ice from freezing a foot thick in this weather. I needed to glasses to survive the bright sunlight reflecting off the blinding snow. I might be able to stumble back to the house with my eyes closed. Why weren’t the glasses floating. Shouldn’t they float? They didn’t They sank clear to the bottom as I hung tightly to the fork.
Maybe we could fish them back up the same way?
My hands got soaked reaching in for the fork, but I wasn’t going in up to my armpit digging for my glasses. So I fished some more with the fork handle. And actually found them! They came up in a clump of moss and muck. I plucked them out, wiped off the ear pieces and tried to wipe the lenses. I didn’t have enough dry places to get them clean so I peered through icy frosted lenses. It blocked the sun even better.
At the next tank we held the fork by hand and scooped ice out. My sons gloves froze quickly to the metal guardrail fence as he climbed over. We all gazed on very impressed until he yanked them free, leaving chunks of glove behind. At least it wasn’t anyone’s tongue.
My husband came and rescued us in a heated vehicle making the trip home much more pleasant. Once inside we pealed off layers and laid gloves out in front of the fire to thaw. They need to be ready to break ice again in just a few hours.