Last Wednesday, I was driving along when I passed an amusing sight at my parents’ place. There, in the driveway, was the truck for the irrigation company that does maintenance on their sprinkler system. The company was there to blow out their system for the winter, and following the early snowstorm the day before, they had to do it through the snow.
This company had actually been at the neighbor’s place about ten days prior - on that beautiful, 80 degree Friday. However they told my dad that while he was scheduled, it just wasn’t on that particular day. As I drove by, I wondered if they now wished they had taken the time to do it before. In talking with my dad later, he did say they mentioned he was the second of ten jobs they had to do that day, and the first one was already frozen (luckily, ours wasn’t).
This company certainly wasn’t the only people who weren’t quite prepared for the record-early measurable snowfall. When I went over to North Branch later that Wednesday, there were still piles of now snow-covered leaves along the street waiting to be collected during the city’s annual leaf pickup.
I too was caught off guard. On that same 80 degree Friday, I did take advantage of the weather and had mowed my parents’ lawn, while at the same time bagging whatever leaves were on the ground. But I had also told them I was planning on doing it once more after their two trees, which are notoriously the last to drop their leaves, had completed doing so. My dad was right on the same page with me, telling me he had just ordered an adapter for the riding mower to enable it to mulch up the leaves before we took a second pass to bag them up. We were also planning on draining the remaining gas from the riding mower before parking it for the winter.
Little did I figure I would have to fire up their snowblower for the first time this season before being able to fire up the mowers for the last time this season.
Over at my place, my snowblower was still sitting there, waiting for minor repairs to be made on it. Last winter, one of the auger pins had broken off like they are intended to do, meaning my snowblower could only move half the snow it was intended to at a time. It didn’t make it unusable (and truth be told, I was just going to let most of the snow melt away anyway), but it was something I intended to get fixed sometime when the weather was still decent.
Fortunately, despite the extended length of time for this cold snap, it does appear at least near-normal temperatures will be returning, possibly as early as whenever you are reading this column. And when that does happen, we will be able to get all of these fall tasks done before the ground is covered by snow on a more “permanent” basis. Now, we just have to hope we can get everything we had planned done during that time.
But if we don’t, we will only have ourselves to blame. After all, Mother Nature has already fired off a warning shot. And I’m sure next time, she will “shoot to kill.”
BILL STICKELS III is editor of the Isanti-Chisago County Star. He can be reached at 763-689-1181 ext. 107 or email@example.com.