During the recent snow accumulations we at the Rolli household have learned a few things about rural, northwoods living.
First off let me say our home is miles from anywhere. Miles. It takes us a good 15minutes, at least, to get to any town. New Richmond. Osceola. Amery. No more three-minute-hop-in-the-car-drive-to-Target-trips for this mama. We now have major put-on-your-Sunday-best-hitch-up-the-wagon day trips to town. Big difference.
Our first realization with rural living is that mailboxes are NOT at the end of your driveway, much less attached to one's own home. I couldn't even find the mailbox for the first few days we lived here. Never thought to ask. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we needed a map to find the mailbox. We do. I did eventually find it. Now, how do I get the mail in the winter without warming up the car for 10minutes to make the drive down and back from the mailbox? Well, Anna and I bundle up real well and she sits in the sled while I pull her to our destination. I also put Anna's backpack on Anna and she carries the mail for me. I figure that's the least she can do as I haul her up and down our un-plowed road. Which leads me to the next tidbit of information we've learned. The road.
We live on a very rural dead-end road. It's so rural it has two dead-ends. When you turn onto our road you drive about half a city block and come to a "T" in the road. You may turn left or right. (both directions leave you still on the same road by the way) Both the right and left turn will take you to a dead-end. When turning left at said "T" you will eventually get to our home after passing a couple year-round homes and a bunch of summer cabins. The county plows our road up to a certain point at which point the paved road turns to gravel and then it's private and I think we jointly own the dirt road along with three other neighbors, don't know for sure and don't care. We personally have a turn-around in the dirt road at the beginning of our driveway that the school bus turns around in. Being that it's a dead end the bus would have no other option to turn around without that turn-around. We did not realize when purchasing the home that the county (when they do plow our road which is apparently two business days after a major snowstorm) only plows up to the end of the paved road. They DO NOT plow the dirt road or the turn-around. OOPS! That means if we want Isaiah to get picked up by the bus at the end of our driveway a major amount of snow needs to get plowed. Have I mentioned the word, OOPS?!? If the paved road and turn-around do not get plowed Isaiah and the two neighbor boys will get picked up and dropped off at the beginning of the road..... TWO MILES away!!!
Thankfully, the neighbor with the other two school-aged boys has a four-wheeler with a plow attachment and has plowed our turn-around for the bus. Because we were unaware of our important duty the bus company called the neighbors complaining about the lack of snow removal. Apparently the bus company did not have our number yet. Hi, we're the Rollis, you know the new neighbors the bus company called your house complaining about? Nice to meet you. Sheesh!
Matthew is at this very moment researching a major snow pushing, blowing, removing type of machine to purchase that will plow out our half of Polk County. The Polk County plow drivers are probably busy plowing the other half of the county that we are NOT responsible for.