As I write this, the temperature is hovering in the upper 30s. It rained last night, and more is in the forecast. I thought rain would be better than snow, but that’s not the case. Flooding is rampant both in town and out on the rural roads, where county sheriffs have been calling in reports of highways impassable due to high water. With a frost depth approaching 3 feet in some places, according to the National Weather Service, and storm drains and culverts locked up with crusted snow and ice, there’s just nowhere for all the water to go.
Inches of rain are adding to the weight of the feet of snow packed onto roofs. Collapses are still happening daily, and now we need to worry even more about ice dams, leaky ceilings and flooded basements. So far so good at our house, although I probably don’t want to see the silent damage being done underneath the massive ice dam on the front corner of our roof.
Spring will have officially sprung by the time this is published, at least according to the calendar, and let’s hope this mess is behind us and we’re on our way to green grass, flowers and drying-out pastures and fields.
The Eau Claire Farm Show has come and gone (the unofficial start to spring in my mind), and I’d like to thank all of you who stopped by our booth to chat with us. You never fail to offer us kind words, criticism, ideas and conversation. Thank you also to those who donated and bid on items for the silent auction to benefit Wisconsin FFA. It was another successful year with nearly $3,000 being donated to our state’s future ag leaders.
For those who remember my last column (I know at least three people read it based on conversations at the farm show), I’m happy to report that the trusty pickup truck is back in business. After we left it at my in-laws’ house, we were inundated with snow on top of snow on top of more snow. By the time our schedules allowed us to have a free Saturday afternoon to figure out what went wrong, the poor truck was quite literally buried to the roof. A bunny family had taken up residence underneath, likely appreciating the makeshift igloo and a dry place to escape the relentless snow and bitter cold.
My husband’s initial guess was absolutely right. For the mechanically inclined, the slip yoke on the drive shaft seized up, causing the carrier bearing to fail. (Yes, he wrote that sentence for me.) Apparently this causes all kinds of problems, not the least of which is the inability to move forward, which is rather important for a vehicle. In an effort to support our local stores, Jake sought out a new drive shaft at multiple places around Eau Claire. Nobody had any in stock, so he found one on Amazon and it was at our front door in two days. Shout out to the FedEx guy for traversing our icy driveway with the heavy, awkward box.
Less than an hour of putzing and the new drive shaft was in place, and the truck appears to be good as new (except for the hole in the bumper, caused by me, but that’s a story for another day ...). The workhorse minivan was put through its paces during the snowiest February in recorded history, and aside from a missing heat shield (which fell off when I was driving, of course) it’s no worse for the wear. Let’s hope its next towing job is for a spring fishing trip.