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I live back in the woods, you see.

February 17, 2010 - Michael Palmer
A new record for snowfall has been set for the month of February!

So far this month an amazing 30.8 inches of snow has fallen eclipsing the old record of 29.5 inches in 1960.

I live back in the woods, you see. That means I am, like many of the valley residents, living in a home located on a township road. By state law it is the responsibility of your township to provide road maintenance, (i.e. grading, plowing snow, spreading gravel, repair and culverts) thereby providing emergency services (and of course you) access to your home.

During the winter, the township removes snow from the township roadways. Unfortunately, there are just a few homes on our township road so it is a LOW priority.

Tuesday morning the accumulation was deep enough that the front bumper of the wife’s car was pushing snow. We are fortunate to have a four-wheel drive tractor with a blade for clearing snow, so we can usually get out on our own.

The tractor was out of service for this snowfall. Initially, the hydraulic control cable was broken, so we repaired it and then while doing some driveway clearing Monday it slid down a bank and against a tree.

Not wishing to be late, Tuesday morning, my wife tried to run the hill. Nope, she did not make it. Fortunately, she was able to do a turn around and slip slide back to our house.

We waited and just before noon, the plow finally went past. Therefore, I called last night after I had to push snow with my front bumper to get down the hill. The trustee I reached said he was going to call and if the plow truck driver were unable, to start with our road at 5 am he would be out to clear it before he went to bed.

I went out this morning and began shoveling out the cars, there was an additional 6 inches of snow, which had fallen or blown onto the road. I had a fair amount shoveled away before my wife appeared from the house at 6:30 am but still no township truck.

Well, being pioneer types, she decided to try it. This time she went into the ditch and was stuck. I grabbed my cell phone and snow shovel and headed off up the hill. I contacted the township trustee I had called and he said the driver had assured him that he was going to plow our road first thing this morning.

He tried to reach the driver but was unable to raise them. He was quite apologetic and said he would bring his personal vehicle, a 4-wheel drive truck, and pull us out. In the mean time, he had located the township fleet of snow plowing vehicles. It seemed they did not have an early 5 am start. They had not started until 6 am and had already found it necessary to stop in town at the restaurant for breakfast. Two township trucks with snowplows and the tractor with the blade all were parked along a neatly plowed village street as the drivers sat and ate breakfast.

“I have to eat breakfast too, Iw as only in there for 20 minutes,” said the driver when he drove onto the road, “You know this isn’t the only road in the township, I had other vehicles stuck this morning too.”

Okay, first let me say that I am a type II diabetic and had not eaten yet since getting up at 5:30. It was now 8:10 am and I knew better than to reply, with low blood sugar. In that, condition anything I said would be without the benefit of a clear head.

He said he had no chain or tow strap so off he went and the trustee with integrity (Lee Gladman of L&D Sales and Service) showed up seconds later with his chain. He pulled us out of the ditch and off went the little front wheel drive car, free again from the tentacles of the snow-filled ditch.

I would have been happy to just walk home and leave it at that, but the driver of the plow had to stop by and explain further. “I have a sick kid, I didn’t get but an hour and a half of sleep and I totally forgot.” I have to say I was very proud that my response was brief and somewhat polite. He also forgot to mention that the township was broke, if he reads this, remember that is always a good excuse.

The real problem is that when you take a public office you are supposed to be in service to the voters. That does not apply in any way to our elected officials in Columbus or Washington, so why should I hold the local politicians to a higher standard.

I guess we just have to accept the fact that the common man has fallen into the chasm created by our current economic structure. As voters and employees, it has been a century since our rights and power as individuals have been this low.

With another major snowstorm rumored for Monday I guess the old military acronym best describes our plight; BOHICA.

Is it Spring yet?

Excuse me while I go back and spend a few more quality minutes with my punching bag.


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