Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Neighbora, Snow and the Superbowl

I really like watching the Superbowl; it is almost a holiday to me. I know it is not anywhere near as important as Christmas or Easter. The big game doesn’t even have the meaning that the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving have to our nation. However, after those official holidays, it is one of the days of the year that I most look forward too.
I admit that I am a football junky. I really like to watch football, even when I don’t really have a rooting interest in either team. To be honest, most often it is even more fun if you don’t really care who wins. Combine that with my affinity for food and eating and sprinkle in some good commercials, it all makes for a good evening. We carefully plan our menu and rearrange the chore schedule so we can be settled down with a plate of food at kickoff.
This year was even better (at least for my family) because Jennifer’s parents had come to visit and had gotten snowed in (as I say good for my family, I am not sure they would agree). The minor snowstorm had turned into a major storm and we spent most of the afternoon moving animals around, scooping snow and feeding critters. It was a whirlwind but we managed to make it in before the start of the game, get the food prepared, add wood to the fire and life was good.
The food was good, the game was a little boring and the commercials weren’t as funny as we had expected. At least that was the consensus after the first half. Maybe the game would pick up after halftime and maybe our expectations for the commercials were a little too high. In any case, the second half kicked off with optimism. Sure enough the both teams started moving the ball; it was going to be a game.  Then it happened.
The phone rang. On the other end was a neighbor (keep in mind I count anyone in a three or four mile radius as a neighbor), he had gotten stuck trying to help someone out of a snowdrift. Let’s set the scene, the wind was howling, it was cold and the roads were drifted. Did I want to go out? Not really, but I did not hesitate. I left after putting on the layers required for being out in the conditions that night. The tractor was plugged in and fired right up. Soon I was headed off into the snowy night.
I listened to the game as I drove along and over the noise of the tractor it seemed to be getting more and more exciting. One hill away from the house I found my neighbor, pulled up behind his pickup and jumped off into a thigh high snow drift. We hooked up his chain and made the 200 yard pull without too much trouble. At the top of the hill, clear of the drifts, we stopped.
We talked for just a few minutes. The bitter cold wind had a numbing effect even on someone as chatty as I am. He thanked me and I reminded him that next time it would probably be my turn to ask him for a favor. I have lost count over the years of all the times one of our neighbors have come to my rescue. Often these crises occur at rather inopportune times and usually in inclement weather.
I guess that is what I most like about where I live. You know you can call on your neighbor, no matter what time, in any situation and they will always come lend you a hand. That is what we do. Why? Because it is the right thing to do, if they didn’t need your help they would not have asked for it. You can also be sure that when you need a hand they will drop everything to help.
I pulled into the shed that night plugged the tractor in and went to the lambing barn to check the ewes. We had a ewe lamb earlier in the night with what we thought was a single lamb. However, when I opened the barn door that night she stood there proudly with two lambs. It was a good night.
I got back into the house just in time to see the last play and to get a recap from my family on how exciting the game was. Would I have liked to have seen the game? You bet. But I also know that given the same opportunity I would do the same thing every time. I can always watch the Superbowl again next year, who knows maybe the Chiefs, will be in it.

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