All four of us kids were huddled around our old propane heater holding mugs of hot chocolate and surveying the snow outside. Yesterday’s blizzard had dumped a thick mat of snow that filled ditches and hid sidewalks.
It had also forced the school buses to stay in the garage and so we were enjoying this white wonderland.
Our farm house sat at the top of a hill and we could see into the valley. The county road that ran past our house dipped into the valley and then rose to the top of the next hill.
The storm had filled the valley with heavy snow so that the road wasn’t visible for a quarter mile.
While we sipped our hot chocolate, we saw a milk truck lumber to a stop at the top of the next hill. This was a large semi tractor-trailer considering his options.
“Don’t do it,” my mother said.
“Go for it!” said one brother.
“He won’t go,” said the other.
The truck rocked forward and back for a bit with indecision and then took a step back before barreling down the hill.
An explosion of white filled the air.
“He won’t make it,” said my mother.
As the snow filtered back into the valley, we could see the truck. Snow covered the hood and packed tight against the doors. The truck hadn’t gotten a quarter of the way through the valley’s snowpack.
Dad trekked down in his tractor. Unlike over-confident milk trucks, tractors can go about anywhere. They managed to tow the truck backwards and Dad reported that the snow was like concrete around the engine.
On the farm, you learn many things in childhood. One of the bigger ones was one of the simpler: when in doubt, listen to Mom.
And don’t plow into snowfields.