A Slight Thaw, a Scare, and a Spectacular Ending


Snow sounds like thunder cracking right on top of the roof as it breaks up and slides off the edge of the house. The first time I heard the sound of snow breaking up on the roof, I thought the house was under guerrilla attack. I remember when I used to fantasize about living someplace where it snowed, like really snowed, and where the snow actually stuck around for more than a day. Snow looks very idyllic in paintings and photographs, you know. I still love snow, but I’d love it more if I didn’t have to go anywhere. If you gotta go somewhere, it’s a real problem. For one thing, it’s cold. (I know, that is a breathtakingly insightful remark!) It’s really cold when you’re taking care of farm animals, and even colder when you’re trying to keep them in water (which keeps freezing).

I managed to not go anywhere for eight days, and even managed to get the kids off the farm, to civilization and education and work at McDonald’s and basketball. Then I started really missing them and yesterday was Morgan’s birthday. I was determined to get them back!

It’s hard to be determined and wussy at the same time, but I knew I could overcome with careful attention to detail.

Almost thwarted by losing my car keys (hey, if you don’t go anywhere for eight days, you don’t need no stinkin’ car keys! the cats took off with them! that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!), I finally managed to come up with my spare car key then promptly handed it to someone else (52). He took my car down the still-snowy driveway with the obnoxious ease with which men handle these sorts of death-defying tasks.

Resting assured that the biggest challenge was out of the way, I set about baking chocolate birthday cake in preparation for the great birthday event. Cake cooling on wire racks, I set off from the house. I was leaving the house! Quite momentous after eight days.

I was glad I didn’t have to drive down the driveway because there was still snow on it.

There was still snow on the road, too.

There are two ways off our farm–the two miles on our rock-based road that goes through three creeks and over the hill, or across the river. If you just want to run over to our little town, fording the river is the long way. So I headed out through the creeks.

This is what the first creek looked like as I drove through it.

Still, all was good! Except for the part where my gas gauge was sitting on E. Hmmm. Why didn’t I know about that?

Then I got to the hill and it looked like this.

See that dark area kinda off to the right just beyond the snow-covered road? That’s a steep dropoff. There are no guardrails, of course.

Then I started sliding.

And screaming and sobbing and shaking. And there was no way I was going to keep going. I would, in fact, at that moment, have been happy if I could have transported myself to Mars just to get out of that car and off that road.

So I backed up. Or slid or whatever. And somehow managed to get back home to our farm where I parked at the bottom of our driveway and declared then and there that I wasn’t going anywhere ever again or at least not until tomorrow.

And after I get some gas.

But! All was not lost yesterday! First, I did finally get all of my kids back home in time for the birthday dinner (with help from 52). And! I was thrilled to learn that I was a finalist in the Best-Kept Secret category of the 2009 Bloggies! THANK YOU to all of you who nominated Chickens in the Road! Thank you from Clover and Coco and the chickens and, most of all, from me!

I still need your help! Please vote for me now? Go here. Scroll to the right (not down). You can vote once per email address, so grab your family, your friends, your dog, your cat, your goat, and vote! And tell your friends! (If you don’t get your confirmation email, your vote won’t count. Email the Bloggies coordinator for assistance.)

Princess, in that final moment of anticipation just before blowing the candles out. The candles were a make-do affair dredged up from about the house. Since I didn’t get to the store, I didn’t have enough proper birthday cake candles.

Cake for everybody!


  1. Kathie says:

    My road looks just like yours.I had to leave the car at the bottom most of the week. Going to look for a car up to the challenge of the road. But wow, my legs got a good work out.

  2. Kay says:

    Wow, that sure is one scary drop-off. 😮

    We get quite a bit of snow here in IA (the long lasting stuff. But at least most of the state is quite a bit flatter, very few scary drop-offs. :shocked:

    Glad ur baby got home to eat your birthday cake :hungry: (which I imagine to be amazing).

  3. Heidi says:

    i am SO glad that you all got to be together for her special birthday – 13 is pretty cool!!!!

  4. Jana says:

    Happy Birthday, Morgan! Enjoy these adventures with your mom and family — these will make terrific memories for you later on!

  5. Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife says:

    That road looks perilously dangerous and NARROW!!!! What happens if someone is coming the other way? Are you responsible for the upkeep of the road, such as grading and filling in potholes?

    Many congratulations on your nomination for the Bloggies. I’m off to vote for you!

    Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

  6. IowaCowgirl says:

    Those roads look familiar….do you really live in east central Iowa?? The candles on the cake definitely look familiar…I am always scrounging all over the house for birthday candles; hey there’s nothing wrong with votives and huge pillars, right?

    off to vote for you….

  7. jane says:

    Actually I wish we had some of that snow here in TExas. WE have had none this yr. what would you do without 52??? 8 days without leaving the house – hmmm – sounds like a good rest and getaway to me. Looked like a large cake too! Happy 13th to Morgan – now the teen fun begins!!

  8. Candid Carrie says:

    Princess knows that no matter what it takes, mom thinks outside of the box to get the job done for her daughter. My daughter just turned six and we actually used a votive on her cake. Just on big ol’ votive because she didn’t want to blow it out right away.

  9. Becky says:

    Been there done that! Not fun!
    Get a set of chains for your vehicle and have 52 teach you how to put them on. Or better yet, get a set like the emergency vehicles have that just drop down and attach to the tires. Don’t ask me how that works, I’m curious about that myself.
    And yeah for birthday girls and bloggie awards!!!

  10. MARY says:

    :dancingmonster: I’m so glad Morgan was able to celebrate with everyone. Yikes!!!! A teenager! I will go vote now. Good luck!!!!! :snuggle:

  11. MARY says:

    :purpleflower: P.S. I love Morgan’s new do!!!!!! :sun:

  12. Robin G. says:

    Well, of course we wrote you in for a nomination!

    If your car is sliding, have you tried weighing it down? Cat litter and/or rocks in the trunk make a really big difference. And if you ever manage to get into town, see about getting chains for your tires.

  13. Linda says:

    I hate driving on slick roads gets on my nerves.I’m like you could just stay home until it thaws. Glad you got the kids home for Morgan’s birthday.

  14. Wayfaring Wanderer says:

    What an adventure! If it weren’t for my day job……I would never leave my house either!! It’s just too cozy.

    Discovered you via the Bloggie Awards. Vote 🙂

  15. Jen says:

    I just found you a few days ago. Just so you know, you were in Google Reader’s suggested blogs. Chickens, of course I would sign up to subscribe immediately. We love chickens, and rural life, one that we are wanting to lead, yet another reason.

    Love your blog, LOVE the chickens!

    And good luck with the bloggies. I voted! Hope that you win!


  16. Don says:

    Suuuze! Why dont you have cinder barrels at your precarious locations. It wouldnt be cheating or anything like that.
    Look at it in terms of self preservation. Further up the line place deep posts with braided cable strung between them at the spots the car could slide off the road. Cheap insurance. The Tire Chain suggestion I saw is a real good idea. Strap Chains! They go on and off without a college education. Be careful but stay confident. Happy Birthday to Princess. Peace. Don

  17. Diane says:

    Happy Birthday, Morgan!! Did you wish for warmer weather when you blew out the candles? Suzanne, I’m with Becky, you need tire chains. You can go through anything with those babies on. That picture of your road reminds me of our mini winter vacations up in the Smoky Mountains. We always rent a cabin waaaay up in the mountains and invariably, it snows. It’s pretty but even with my husband driving, I usually cry all the way down the mountain when its time to leave. Scary stuff.

  18. Beth Brown says:

    You ought think about adding a horse to your farm. And a sleigh! :yes: So glad you had your family back together for Morgan’s birthday celebration!

    Beth in PA

  19. Nicole says:

    Your blog is a daily gift – my vote is cast!

  20. Kris says:

    Respect the snow! I would have everyone stay home at the mere forecast if I could, but alas…jobs, school, life.

    Yes, I love Morgan’s new hairstyle, too.

    Happy birthday Morgan…and best wishes on the bloggies Suzanne!!!

    Working hard at http://www.sccworlds.com

  21. Norma says:

    Suzanne, I hope your car is 4 wheel drive. With snow tires and 4 wheel drive you should be able to chew up that hill and spit it out. Having lived in WV all my young life and living 1 mile up a dirt road, I know how you feel. Hang in there, farming can be tough but it is worth it!!! Off to vote!

  22. Donna says:

    Congrats on the blog Suzanne!

    I’m so glad Morgen got her birthday party and her chocolate cake. I had one on standby for her, should she not have gotten one! :happyflower: :hungry: :snoopy: :clover:

  23. Traci Best says:


    Happy Birthday Princess!


  24. ataylor says:

    I am so glad you all got to be together for Morgan’s birthday! (^) I bought some stuff called ICE for my driveway and it works wonders even in freezing weather, of course it is too expensive for the entire road but you might keep a couple bags of sand in your vehicle for slick spots to provide traction.

  25. catslady says:

    I’m afraid I’d become a hermit if I lived where you do. I don’t mind snow but ice is another thing.
    Princess looks like she is really concentrating on her birthday wish – hope it comes true!
    I tell the temperature by how many times I have to change the water for my feral cats lol.

  26. RosieJo says:

    I really love your blog and check in first thing every day, but I’m convinced you are really NUTS. Of course, eight days without leaving home will do that to even the best of us.

  27. Miss Grace says:

    I simply CANNOT drive in the snow/ice. It’s an incapability that’s developed through many years of living on the California coast.

    Great blog, by the way.

  28. SuzieQ says:

    So glad everything ended well..A great advantage of now being retired is that I don’t have to worry about driving to work in snow/ice anymore…I just sit back with a good book and a cup of tea and enjoy the beauty of it instead…already voted for you!! :fairy:

  29. Leah says:

    I understand loving snow but not when you have to drive in it, esp alongside cliffs!!I’ve had to drive after a blizzard in the dark! Could’nt see were the road, correct lane, or intersections were!Just had to inch along looking for landmarks!! Or in fog, can only see inches in front of you, and afraid to pull out onto another rd in the dark!! Going to go vote for you again…got kicked off earlier! :purpleflower:

  30. Estella says:

    I love your bolg!
    My vote is cast.

  31. Estella says:

    That should have been blog.

  32. Debbie in Memphis says:

    Happy Birthday Princess!! :snoopy: And I’ve voted already, too! The important questions I have are – what kind of cake? and do we already have that recipe?

  33. Dorothy says:

    You can count my vote. Voted yesterday for you. Love your blog.

  34. Amy says:

    That was very brave of you, attempting to drive on those roads! Glad Morgan made it home for her birthday celebration.

  35. Brandy says:

    I’ve driven in ice and snow. Who needs aerobic exercise to get your heart pumping?
    Glad y’all were able to spend the evening together for Princess Morgans birthday!

  36. Birdi says:

    I voted!!! This is my favorite place to hang out! And Morgan….I missed your birthday yesterday :hissyfit: I am so sorry…I hope you had a great day! :yes: A happy, happy birthday I’d like to wish you…a happy, happy birthday from Birdi’s little zoo! :chicken: :happyflower:

  37. Harbor Hon says:

    Happy Birthday Morgan! And many more, sweet girl! You’re still the Princess!

    I nominated you and have now voted for you too. Good Luck! xxoo

  38. Rebekah says:

    Me too! I nominated you and had everyone I know do the same! Congratulations on making the short list! YAY! Now, let’s get voting for Chickens In The Road!

  39. Barbee' says:

    That was a scary story! What an icy road and dark depths, I’m glad to got back to the house. The candles might not be what you wanted to use, but it turned out very pretty. I have 2 email addresses… guess where I’m going now!

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