Season's Greetings from the Wintery Upper Midwest

Happy Holidays from "Biodiesel Magazine"
By Ron Kotrba | December 24, 2008
On behalf of all of us here at "BIODIESEL MAGAZINE," seasons greetings from wintery Grand Forks, North Dakota. We hope all of you enjoy yourselves with family and friends, especially this time of the year. After a welcomed long fall season, there's no question winter has arrived in full force. With daytime highs well below zero Fahrenheit, and very short days followed by long, extremely cold nights, there's not much to do outside except for what's needed to remove the densely packed, wind-driven snow that won't stop until next May probably.

This summer I fixed up an old John Deere lawnmower with a front-end snow blower attachment, trying to get a jump on winter this year. The blower and the tractor were not used together before so in order to have a way to raise and lower the blower, I rigged a hydraulic lift made for the deck with some steel wire so that the lift maneuvered the blower up and down. I thought I was in business. I live in the country where maniacal winds oftentimes cut right through the flimsy shelter belts and deposit four-foot mounds of snow up and down my driveway, which is very long.

Our first real snowfall this season arrived a couple of weeks ago, and it was called the worst blizzard this area has seen in 10 years. What's that phrase, in like a lion, out like a lamb? Not around here. It's more like, in like a lion, out like a lion; and it is one big ol' mean lion the entire time.

I ordered chains for the tires of my John Deere tractor the week before the storm came, and they were supposed to arrive right before it blew in, but for some reason they did not get shipped lucky me. So, once the storm passed over, without chains my rig didn't make it two feet before its wheels started spinning, and spinning. Fortunately neighbors in these parts know the value of "community," and help each other out. They may be a couple of miles away, but the countryside here is so sparsely populated that anyone's closest neighbor is likely to be at least a mile away.

So my neighbor, a longtime farmer and friend of the family, came through with his huge tractor and blower and dug me out.

Well, the chains for my John Deere tires came in just in time for more snow. And they work so good it's like magic.

Enjoy the Holidays.