Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Digging out in Faribault from our latest winter storm February 21, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 12:18 PM
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THERE’S NO DENYING the beauty of Minnesota’s latest snowstorm blizzard, which dumped perhaps eight inches of snow on Faribault. I’m never good at judging snow totals.

Trees are iced with snow.

Trees iced with snow.

Heavy, wet snow layers upon trees and power lines, creating a surreal world of incredible beauty contrasted against a cobalt sky.

The  snow-coated woods behind my house are beautiful this morning.

The snow-coated woods behind my house are beautiful this morning.

But beauty will take winter only so far.

From my fenced backyard, I photographed my neighbor, Bob, blowing snow this morning.

From my fenced backyard, I photographed my neighbor, Bob, blowing snow this morning.

Faced with snow removal, I find that beauty quickly fades.

As much as I appreciate the hard-working snowplow drivers, I don't like digging out the snow they plow onto the ends of sidewalks (shown here) and driveways.

As much as I appreciate the hard-working snowplow drivers, I don’t like digging out the snow they plow onto the ends of sidewalks (shown here) and driveways. Sometimes it can be blown out, oftentimes not.

This storm, my husband and I took a two-step approach to getting the snow off our and a neighbor’s driveways and sidewalks. I initiated the plan Thursday afternoon when I realized Randy would never get the car through the snow at the end of the driveway upon his return home from work. The snowplow had gone by, creating a wall of ice and snow chunks.

Miracle of miracles, Randy actually arrived home at 5 p.m., 45 minutes earlier than usual. The boss said if he had to leave early, he could. He commutes to Northfield, 22 minutes distant, on a good day.

Randy opened the garage door this morning to begin the task of snow removal, phase II.

Randy opened the garage door this morning to continue the task of snow removal, phase II.

I had been shoveling for 30 minutes already when my spouse pulled out the snowblower. Our goal was to keep ahead of the storm somewhat. Shovel and blow Thursday and then again Friday morning.

Nearly done clearing our driveway Friday morning.

Nearly done clearing our driveway Friday morning.

And so here it is, nearing noon on Friday. The driveway and sidewalks at our home and our neighbor’s place are cleared, were cleared, by 9 a.m.

A scoop shovel worked best for removing this snow. I shovel where the snowblower can't go.

A scoop shovel worked best for removing this snow. I shovel where the snowblower can’t go or can’t handle.

My back, leg and arm muscles feel it. I’ve shoveled way too much snow this winter.

Snow flies as Randy works the snowblower down the driveway. Fortunately we are not without power, although the lights flickered numerous times Thursday evening.

Snow flies as Randy works the snowblower down the driveway. Fortunately we are not without power, although the lights flickered numerous times Thursday evening.

How about you?

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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21 Responses to “Digging out in Faribault from our latest winter storm”

  1. We got close to a foot. We blew out the driveway twice last night and once this morning. Digging out the mailboxes after the plow went by was the worst; they were almost completely buried. But it is absolutely stunning out there. Sore muscles, though, yes indeed.

  2. Amber Schmidt Says:

    We’re pretty happy to be living in an apartment right about now!

    • I have thought of this on more than one occasion, that, in many ways it was a blessing you didn’t end up in that Highland rental house. The water pipes likely would have frozen and burst this winter, not to mention all of the snow you would have had to deal with.

  3. Going to be about 60 here today – be wearing shorts again this weekend:) Love the snow and its beauty it is the clean up and driving in it that I really do not care for anymore. Happy Weekend!

  4. Thread crazy Says:

    Do stay in and stay warm – being on the roads in these conditions is not good for anyone. We too have had warmer than normal temps here also…was in lower 70’s most of week and cooler today. I’m a bit concerned when you all start having a thaw…just where is all this ice/snow melt going to go?? Stay warm…

  5. Jackie Says:

    I just love how white everything looks from the big snow. Guess we got 7.5 inches here officially. I actually do help Rick Shovel, I enjoy being out in the elements but last night he wouldn’t let me…I tried :)

  6. treadlemusic Says:

    The drifts keep coming back to over car height in the driveway. DS, bless his heart, has kept at it so DH didn’t have to…..yay! The temps next week are January temps for sure!!!!!! Ugh!!!!!

  7. We did not get the rain first here, somehow when it hit both east and west of us. We are supposed to be at a dance recital today in Morgan but my daughter called and said the roads in her area were terrible, which MN 511 website says, too.


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