Hope's Corner: Weathering the storm

"There is so much snow in western North Dakota right now, that it’s a good chance we are sloping downward toward Rapid City," writes Jackie Hope.

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Jackie Hope is the longest running Dickinson Press contributor and columnist. Hope's Corner is a weekly humorous column with a message of hope. (CONTRIBUTED / FOR THE DICKINSON PRESS)

There is a good chance that, if we shoveled all the snow in our yard into one big pile in the back yard, the top of that heap would be the highest point in North Dakota. There is so much snow in western North Dakota right now, that it’s a good chance we are sloping downward toward Rapid City. The north/south continental divide probably now breaks right along Interstate 94.

We had a brilliant idea last Monday evening, while preparing for the storm. We figured if we parked all the vehicles in the driveway, then we could back them out after the storm and we would have less drive to shovel. The snow quickly buried all three vehicles, and we mounted a shoveling expedition just to find the bumper of the truck. Then the snow and ice somehow managed to pop the wheel chrome off one of the cars.

So much for that brilliant idea.

Our second brilliant idea lasted a few hours longer than our first. We believed if we frequently shoveled the patio during the storm, Katie the Wonder Puppy would have easy access to her potty area. She has really short legs, so she high-centers as easily as my old Chevy. By Tuesday afternoon, the patio had to be cleared every 45 minutes. Katie declared she had no intention of going outside until May. And by Tuesday evening, we had run out of dry gloves and Ben-Gay.

Another brilliant idea bit the dust. Or smothered in a snow bank.


The third brilliant idea was to wait until the snow stopped before venturing off the patio. That was working well until Wednesday, in the late afternoon. Things were chilly, so I boosted the thermostat up a degree. Nothing. I boosted it two more degrees. Nothing. The furnace pipes were frigid.

Panicking, I began making plans to load all the people, pets and plants into the pickup and make a run to somewhere warm. I decided to let them all ride in the truck seats, and I would hang out in the truck box as we navigated drifts. My beloved husband is more practical. He called our furnace guy, who suggested we might want to clear out the outside vent, and then restart the furnace. We had been diligently watching the pipes on the roof, but forgot about the ground level vent in the back yard.

Well, that idea did not end too badly, because as soon as we cleared the vent and restarted the furnace, a rabbit dug herself a snow burrow next to the warm vent.

Our most recent brilliant idea has turned out to be a winner. Now that the streets are cleared, we decided to dine on our favorite fast food carry out. Best brilliant idea of the bunch.

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