A Prolonged Dream of Kokomo

It doesn’t snow here often, but when it does, you can rest safely knowing my wife’s grandpa Lowry is on patrol. When the Department of Transportation snow plows get to our community, the plow drivers can just stop awhile and go sledding or participate in a discussion on the merits of marshmallows in hot chocolate while warming themselves around a bonfire. Really, they can do whatever they want for 15 minutes because Lowry, with the use of a box blade and the tractor’s front-in-loader, has already plowed the roads and remains on patrol for further accumulation. The only road he spares is Clay Hill, a steep hill where local children can break their first bone in a safe environment with adult supervision. While huddled in a  shivering mass, many parents pay such close attention to their sledding children that they can be heard encouraging their offspring with shouts likes, “Great ride, Ricky, you got a lot of air!” as Ricky and his plastic trash can lid dangle from the top of a pine tree.

This past weekend, Thomas, my offspring, experienced snow for the first time. He inherited my general hatred for frozen precipitation, as evidenced by the picture above. Not that I want to teach Thomas to hate, but if he was going to hate somebody, I’d be ok with him hating snowmen. 

Bad things happen when it snows here. Take, for instance, the time I woke up to an explosion and a blinding glow in the window. My first thought was Kim Jong-un’s missile program had greatly progressed, though his targeting system needed some work because his warhead landed at the wrong white house. When I peeked through the blinds, I saw the true culprit was a snapped powerline laying across the driveway, spewing flames and sparks. We were without power for seven days–in an old farmhouse with defunct fireplaces and walls that lacked any insulation. Well, mostly without power–by day three, I got a great deal on a price-gouged generator. 

Then there was the time I raised a dozen day-old dairy bulls in an arctic freeze. The dairy farmer couldn’t find anyone else dumb enough to take the calves, and he told me he’d throw in two sickly ones for free. To be honest, I couldn’t tell which ones in particular were the sickly ones, as our barn soon became a triage unit for scouring pneumonic calves. Several scouring viruses, like rotavirus, can also infect humans, so by the end of the week, while trying to keep calves from keeling over in the barn, I  had to frequently race back to the bathroom in the house, all while trying to delicately balance speed and intestinal control. 

Then there was the other time when a pipe burst underneath the house and the other time a joy-riding truck  skidded off the road and demolished part of my newly-built fence and the other time my wife made me watch the movie Frozen and I had that stupid “do-you-want-to-build-a-snowman” song stuck in my head for three eternities. 

At this point, I realize this post has devolved into a continuation of last week’s post where I tried to cancel February. My petition didn’t make much headway with the calendar authorities, and to add insult to injury, our local meteorologists are now calling for freezing rain this weekend. So if you don’t hear from me next week, you’ll know I didn’t survive whatever bad thing blew in with the ice storm, or else I unlocked the secrets of human hibernation and you can expect another blog post whenever ambient outdoor temperatures rouse me from a prolonged dream of Kokomo.

42 thoughts on “A Prolonged Dream of Kokomo

  1. in the distant past, we used to calve in the winter – thank goodness we got over that though most likely 90% of the cow/calf man still likes calving cows in the winter. Anyway, we had at least a dozen day old cold, wet, calves in the basement of our old house – okay, just so no one is confused – a basement of an old farmhouse is little more than slapped together concrete dungeon with waterfalls when it rains. kept most of the scours at bay with Resorb and a home brew of scour meds – lots of bottles fed all hours of day an night until the calves were nursed back to strength enough to go back to their mommas in the cold and snow. i did scrub the floor with clorox after they were all out and gone. i hate snow, i hate the cold. looking to ranch in mid Texas. Nothing for sale. Course, there is no pasture ground here in north Missouri either for sale – why in the world anyone would want to live her is beyond me except that, thankfully, we are pretty much left alone as a flyover zone. Be careful out there!

    1. Glad to know I’m not the only one who does crazy things in the name of keeping calves alive. I’ve taken a space heater out to barn stall before, which was definitely a major fire hazard and really stupid looking back on it, but at the time it was the only thing I could think of (unfortunately, that calf died anyway).

      Hope you find that ranch of your dreams! We have a lot of flyovers here now too, mostly riverkeepers targeting poultry operations. I have mixed feelings about it, but nowadays you likely don’t need a plane anymore; with all the satellites up there, it’s no telling who could be watching.

    1. I know! Everybody else was talking about how bad the “Let it go” song was for getting stuck, but for me it was the snowman song. Thankfully, none of the songs in Frozen 2 had similar staying power in my brain.

      1. 😂 My daughter and I run around the house like hooligans all day trying to match the high pitched singing voice in the second one. She’s the only one that can actually get her voice that high 🥴

      2. I know what you mean. Our son has yet to talk, but he can sure give a squealing pig a run for his money when you tickle him. The range of their vocal cords are impressive. Btw, I wasn’t paying close attention when I watched the second one (fell asleep half way through), but the whole north wind, disembodied voice thing kind of confused me. Or, idk, maybe I just like Disney movies to be set in warmer climes, like Aladdin or Lion King.

      3. That comparison is 100% accurate. And I would know because I worked on a sow farm for four years.

        The creepy voice starts making sense after the fifth viewing or so. They should take your hint and film a movie set in Kokomo.

  2. There are good and bad things about warm and cold climates. For example, fleas and mosquitoes live longer in Florida than in Canada. Having lived in Minnesota and Wisconsin, I can say for a fact that it’s easier to put on bug repellant than to shovel snow. However, at night the sand fleas come out, making those moonlight strolls on the beach a challenge. 🙂

    1. I grew up in Eastern NC, and we used to call sand fleas “no-see-ums.” Thankfully, we don’t really have them here in western nc. I can also remember that some times we’d go to the beach and they would this mutant mosquito that was many times larger than you’re normal run of the mill mosquito and it actually kind of stung when it bit you. If I had to live with those everyday in summer, I think I’d go bonkers in the summer too.

      1. I lived in the middle of North Carolina for 3 years. I loved the high hills and wanted my children to grow up there — but it was not meant to be. If I couldn’t live in Florida, NC would be my second choice.

  3. Have you noticed that the days are getting longer? I just put my seed order in. It’s just a little snow (and believe me, we get mor than you) and soon we’ll be complaining about the bugs.

    1. I think my hatred does have a lot to do with daylight, and maybe I just take it out on snow. For most of the winter, by the time I get home from work, the sun is already setting, so I can’t get anything done outside and so there is this desire to get winter done with. Bugs, I will welcome with open arms (though, you’re right, that doesn’t preclude me from complaining about come August).

      1. Yes. It is effective both to diminish seasonal depression, and to sync your sleep cycles. To best use it, have the light on your face for about 20 minutes each day–preferably as early in the morning as possible. Do not use it later in the day (or you can screw up your circadian rhythms.

  4. I feel your pain! Snow in eastern Scotland getting very boring now. The days are getting longer, which makes it even more infuriating that you can’t get near the ground to make use of them!

    1. Ugh, the ground here is so muddy, it’s hard to call it ground. Glad to know Scots feel the same way about snow (my mom’s side of family are McLains, so maybe my snow hatred is of Scottish origin).

  5. We’re suffering in TX too, supposed to get down to 7 soon, I do believe that’s a record (that I’d prefer not to participate in). And thanks for the warning about Frozen b/c I get dumb songs, like dumb ads, stuck in my head far too easily. They’re still stuck in there and randomly pop out from 1982! Great post, good luck!

    1. Well, at least we know we’re raising our children right so far. I think the ice they were calling for here is mostly a bust, just a cold dreary rain so far.

      1. Ah, it hit here. . .we lost power for half the day. Funny how just a few hours’ drive in one direction or the other can make a difference in southern weather!

  6. I live in the deep south. I had a four-year-old who didn’t believe in snow, because she’d never seen it. Brace yourself for kid songs getting stuck in your head. I new every word to every song of several Disney movies there for a while. I always enjoy your stuff and I tell the folks I know about your blog.

      1. Growing up, I lived in Hamlet, NC, and my grandma lived just across line in Cheraw. So I spent a lot of time in SC at my grandma’s farm pond. Now my parents live there, so hopefully Thomas will get to spend a lot of time fishing there like I did (watch, he’ll probably hate fishing though).

  7. Snow gives such an opportunity for making memories with your son, when he’s a little older! My daughter still talks about her pre-school sledding party. The snow saucer she and her father were riding flipped, and he landed on top of her. (Notice I didn’t say they were pleasant memories.)

  8. Having nearly always lived in California (save a brief summer field season in coastal Washington where it rained sideways), I have often thought I would love to live somewhere with snow. The more I read about this frozen precipitation from others though, the more I realize I am not likely to really enjoy it. Maybe I could survive for a single year. Maybe.

    1. Where I’m at NC, we get maybe two to three snows a year, most just a few inches. That’s good enough for me. Doubt I could survive anywhere where snow is on ground all winter long.

  9. I’ve got a foot of snow and my heart skips a beat every time a gate sticks. In California I never had to carry jugs of hot water out with me to thaw the threshold or gate latch. My poultry has cabin fever and it’s only been three days. I’ve got an old blind drake that can usually find his way around, but he’s totally lost in a glaring white landscape. He was stuck under a hutch today, I think I heard him sobbing. I’ve never looked forward to rain like this before, and you don’t find folks in Seattle saying that too often.

    1. Ugh, a foot of snow. I’d be sobbing too. Here’s hoping that rain washes some of it away. I have to carry five gallon buckets of hot water down to barn to mix calf milk. One of these days I’m going to get smart and put a small hot water heater down there. Carrying water is no fun.

  10. Thomas does not look happy. He’s not the one with the beard or glasses right? Maybe his arm hurts from holding the camera far enough away to take the group selfie. Stay warm, stay safe. Thanks for a lovely read.

  11. My 18 year old is wanting to cancel snow, she reminded me of your last post of wanting to cancel February. It looks like another ice age where we are, but thankfully we still have power. Good luck with your weather!

  12. I’m in southern Wisconsin, spitting distance from Illinois border. (We spit on it often.;-) At least 2 feet of accumulated snow on ground. Until today, it hadn’t been above 10 degrees for 10 days straight here. But the sun is shining and it’s a balmy 17 degrees today! I almost feel like frolicking naked with my cold hardy naked animals. Almost.

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