Caught in a Fibonacci sequence of never-ending snow, flakes spiral from the sky. The sound of rain earlier in the week promised a break, but soon the water droplets froze. After two days of snow, a blizzard struck. On Saturday, I drove further up the rocky spine of the Keweenaw Peninsula to play board games with my daughter, SIL, and his father at Ghost House Farm.
The snow was nearly white-out conditions. Somewhere, I told myself, the sun is shining.
I had to plow through a snowdrift to park in front of the farm garage. Newly arrived and already stuck. I waded through the snow until I hit the wall. The wall of never-ending snowdrifts that blow across the yard from the direction of Lake Superior and the hopeful frame of a greenhouse. What grows in the snow?
Laughing at my predicament — the wall was impassable and the snowshoe trail to the house too high up for me to clamber — I began to woohoo.
I hollered, “Hellooooooo in the house!” The snow blew my words back at my face.
Inhaling slow and deep, I belted a cattle call that could be heard for miles. “Oooweee!”
Changing reflecting, raising the pitch higher, I used the Indigenous call, “Ooowah!”
Not even the snowbound rooster answered.
I considered crawling up the snow embankment but worried I’d punch through when trying to get to my feet. If no one was answering my calls, I’d be doomed stuck in a snowdrift.
“Aaarooh!” I howled like a wolf and made several “Ar, ar, ar” noises before howling louder.
No goats bleated. No chickens squawked. No one came to the door beyond my reach.
You might wonder why I didn’t call. After all, this is the age of cellular service, even in remote places such as this Great Lakes tundra. Well, in my excitement to go play board games, I left my phone.
I resorted to “Woo-hoo,” which my Granny used to call us into the ranch house for supper. Nothing. Then I played, testing shout, belly-dancing trills, yodels, and the le-le-le-le I learned as an honoring cry from my Anishinaabekwe friends.
Like a lonely wolf, I felt the need to gather with my group. I returned to assessing the snowbank and kicked a foothold followed by a second higher one. Carefully I climbed the snowbank and felt for the panked snowshoe trail. I didn’t have snowshoes but if I walked slowly and lightly, I could stay above the compressed crust. Within a few minutes, I made it to the point where I had to hop down to the deck.
Inside, the warmth of a woodfire and cooking split pea soup steamed my glasses. The two farm pups greeted me enthusiastically. I’m going to have to teach them to listen for my arrival calls. My daughter hugged me and my SIL raised his eyebrows and said he’d better go snow-blow a path for me. He wasn’t taking the chance his mother-in-law would be snowed in with them.
The kids have been swamped by their plants that were supposed to be in the greenhouse by now. My SIL and his dad have worked all week in snow, on snow, digging out snow, and falling through snow to build out the rest of the greenhouse. They’ve been innovative and captured the challenges in videos. If you follow Ghost House Farm for the stories, they plan to post the latest snow farming adventures.
Every room in the house bursts with potted plants. The snapdragons are two feet tall and budding. The lettuce is perfect for fresh greens and my daughter’s rosemary plants look great. But they will all need to get outside. At least it’s good news for the bees — they will find flowers when the snow ends.
If not, I’m going to take a snow shovel to hunt rocks this summer.
April 18, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about never ending. You can hyphenate never-ending or write an example of a story that never ends. What is endless and why? Go where the prompt leads!
- Submit by April 23, 2022. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form. The Collection publishes on the Wednesday following the next Challenge. Rules & Guidelines.
- Carrot Ranch only accepts stories through the form below. Accepted stories will be published in a weekly collection. Writers retain all copyrights.
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- Please include your byline which is the name or persona you attribute to your writing.
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