by Geoffrey Jones

I seldom have a good clear chance to remember what a northern snowstorm is like. A few years back, I remembered.

Making one of my off and on visits to Kentucky and Amish Country, nature, it seems, chose to pick that week for a grand weather demonstration. I was with my friends on a back road in a well wooded area when the storm hit. None of us thought to move any vehicles out to the end of the long lane that leads back to this mini-farm, or even turn them facing out…. big mistake.

The snow began to collect almost at once. Before we knew it six or seven inches had fallen and blanketed everything in sight. More was to follow!

The night dropped to well below zero.

 Kentucky and Tennessee are not usually well prepared for such an onslaught and that proved very true this week. It was well over a day before any sort of plow went over the secondary road that leads to town. The snow was blowing and drifting even after being plowed and it wasn’t long before things were as slippery as ever.

With help from a neighbor, we managed to get one truck as far as the secondary road and a family member who commutes took it to work, only to wind up in the ditch on his way home. A friend with a four wheel drive truck helped him get out only to wind up in a ditch himself the following day!

All the while we were experiencing problem after problem, the Amish continued life as usual. They relied on four hoof drive rather than four wheel drive. They had plows that the horse (or horses) pulled like garden plows to clear their driveways. I managed to get a shot of this project at a neighbor’s farm and it illustrates this column. 

All this revealed for me again, how fragile our electric dependent tech is when facing the hazards of nature. During the temporary loss of electric power most products collapse like a house of cards. Propane gas and wood would keep us warm during that outage. The Amish did well without even propane. 

We need to keep remembering where we came from. It can be a life saver!    

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