Well, that wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been or I had feared it could turn out. My family came through its first storm living in the country with only slightly faded flying colors. Actually, our patriarch has survived oodles of storms and horrific weather during his decades on the farm some 15 miles from town, not just on the outskirts. That certainly helped us pull through this inaugural one.
Later in the afternoon, once the snow had stopped falling and the wind quit viciously whipping around, Hubby and I summed up the courage to look outside. Expecting to see the outside vehicles buried and white drifts several feet high covering our yard, filling in our driveway and completely blocking access to our front door, we were pleasantly surprised when the scene was far from that. I was utterly shocked to see the Jeep, parked in front of the garage, totally clear, nary a flake on it, and the car next to it with only a light dusting. The driveway itself was also relatively clear, with only a few soft ripples of the white stuff requiring a few passes by the snow blower. Our front entrance even surprised me, having taken on just enough snow to necessitate shoveling the steps, yet still allow us to open the door.
It appears that we didn't get hit with nearly as much snow out here as the city dwellers only a short drive away did, as Hubby found out in the evening, when he was first able to trek out to our old residence to check on things. The driveway there was completely covered and the sidewalk filled in with a foot or so of snow. He ended up working harder to clear the snow out from the small yardage there than he did from our vast little rural acreage.
So this is it, what I feared most about living in the country? If so, I could probably handle the weather out here, as long as such storms don't decide to visit us too often. But alas, the reality is that this is all wishful thinking. We are in Minnesota, after all. Much worse storms are bound to strike, some real doozies that will leave us stranded out here for a day or two. We may even find ourselves without power, television or – gasp – Internet service. At least we won't freeze, with two fireplaces to cozy up in front of, which could also serve as our entertainment throughout the power outage.
At least we're not out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere rural; if worse comes to worse, one of us could always bundle up and trek into town, which is across the road, provided the outside temps aren't running in the sub-zeros. You can't do that, though, at least not safely, if you're much further out than where we're located.
As mentioned before, stormy weather has been my biggest obstacle moving to the country. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I have a phobia of bad weather. It has gotten better over the years, mainly because I've had to be strong for my daughters. But it was pretty bad during my childhood and teens.
I've been able to control this fear fairly well over the last two decades, although the big blizzard in late 1996, with three kids age 4 and younger to worry about, shook me up a bit when it left us in the dark without power for hours. My weather fear actually tends to manifest more when warm weather phenomena like severe thunderstorms and tornadoes strike, rather than blizzards.
Still, every time the possibility of looking for a place in the country arose between Hubby and I, my reservations came out loudly. And those reservations were primarily based upon my apprehension that, should a monstrous blizzard hit, we'd be stuck in in the cold and dark, buried beyond relief with snow, dying of thirst and cold, with no one to save us. Only when the spring thaw came would they discover our bodies huddled around a propane heater that obviously ran out of gas months before.
OK, that's the drama queen in me manifesting itself. But city folk like me who have never, ever lived more than a few blocks away from a pop machine would not handle living out in the boonies well. Snow storms only compound the problem.
So I guess it's a good thing we found this compromise that allows country living without sacrificing too many city amenities such as being able drive only a short distance to get gas or groceries. And it doesn't take too long before the roads leading up to our home are cleared.
I'll let you know if I feel the same after the next whopper of a blizzard strikes.