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Tina Hartell

The arrival of Big Snow puts the hustle on us. The triage begins on the outdoor projects. For some projects, like picking up all the kids’ strewn-about stuff in the yard or ‘putting to bed’ the rest of the gardens, the thought of them being buried under feet of snow for the next four months is delightful. The toy tractors, bows and arrows, and Rudbeckia never existed and will not require thought or action until late April.

But for other projects, Big Snow means immediate action: putting all other daily chores and responsibilities aside, as suddenly there are mere hours to get accomplished what we had been putting off all fall. This week that meant 1) hiking the sugarbush and sawing the downed trees across tubing and 2) stacking the rest of the woodpile.

Less than a month ago the woods were open and fast; it was easy enough to find and map the trouble trees fallen across tubing.

However when up to 2’ of wet heavy snow is expected, those trees become as buried as the toy tractors. Backpacks, chainsaws, duct tape, snacks and out we go.

Now to the woodpile. The last four cord of wood moved and stacked as the snow flew.

Why the hustle now? It’s not as though there wasn’t snow on the ground. We have had a few inches since Thanksgiving. But there’s something about November snow that doesn’t seem permanent. And there’s something about a big sloppy nor’easter the second week of December that does seem permanent. Everyone knew in their guts that this was it.

And we were right. 18” on the ground and still falling, power still out as of this writing. Trees down and now everything turning to ice.

We could dry ourselves off and congratulate each other. “We got that done just in time,” we could say. But really, the snow made us do it.