We just had another six inches of snow overnight so this afternoon Will headed out to plow our driveway after clearing the area around the house. I was busy filling seed orders and doing much-needed housework so I didn’t notice he was taking a long time. The high temperature today was 6° F and we’re supposed to get down to -15 tonight so he wanted to get ‘er done.

Finally, Hondo and Will came in the front door. (I did hear the truck but didn’t pay any attention to it.) Will said he needed “help.” He had gotten the plow truck stuck way out at the end of the driveway (of course!), in a ditch. And he’d broken the first rule of Minnesota woodcraft; when you go out in the woods, you need to take your cell phone with you! So at -3 degrees with a wind, he and Hondo had to walk a mile all the way home. He said he’d run half of it, just to keep warm! The truck I’d heard wasn’t the plow truck but our Ford F250 4×4. Will got a heavy chain out of the storage barn while I got on my chore coat and hat (with ear flaps) And we (with Hondo in the middle of course) headed out to the stuck truck.

We really didn’t need more snow.

Boy, was it stuck! While widening out the driveway, Will had gotten a little too close to the ditch next to it and got sucked into it. The only way the plow truck could be pulled out was forward as the ditch was deeper closer to the road. Well first I just pulled while Will tried to help. No good. I tried a different spot. No good. Then I tried a gentle tug, then pull. Nothing — not an inch. Finally I resorted to a fierce yank, which is not a safe way to go as the chain can break. So you might not want to do this yourself! Ah, a few inches. Will backed up, then we did it again. And again. We were gaining and finally the truck came out. Whew! We seldom ever get the 4x4s stuck as both of us have lived with snow and four wheel drive trucks all our lives. (If you’d like a few tips, check out my article Tips and hints for four wheel living in Issue 71 of BHM or the Twelfth Year Anthology.) By then it was dark so Will started carrying in firewood for our sub-zero night while I made supper. Ah, how blessed we are to have a warm house, plenty of dry firewood, a full pantry, and a truck out of the ditch! — Jackie

23 COMMENTS

  1. Wow that was quite a day the two of you had! Happy that it all worked out and that you ended the day on a happier (and much warmer) note.

  2. Glad you got the truck out. That can be maddening when it happens. Glad Will, you, and Hondo are all safe and warm. Recieved my canning book and read it. I probably try pressure canning next season.

    • Once you try it, you’ll be hooked! If you have any problem understanding anything, let me know and I’ll sure help you!

  3. Hi Jackie, glad you were able to “rescue ” Will. Been there done that one with my son. Although in his case it was kids playing in mud puddles with a jeep. Except they forgot to check the depth, up to the floors deep lol. I try to mention your seed company on the FB sites whenever seeds are mentioned, hopefully it helps send them your way. Hope you and Will have a very Merry Christmas this year and no more stuck vehicles 😉

    • Yep, I’ve done that too! Kids! Thank you for helping spread word of our little business. Every bit really helps! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  4. I too got our plow truck stuck after hitting a soft patch of ground under the front tires and ice under the rear. With our 23 inches of snow it was not good I had gotten the truck stuck. We had to snow blow our driveway which isn’t a mile thank goodness but about 400 feet. Lots of breaking the snow up in front of the snowblower. Glad you got your truck out. Stay warm during this cold snap.

    • I hear you, Kathy. We usually get stuck when the plow hops over a batch of deep plow berm instead of pushing it and there we sit. Shovel, shovel, shovel. And finally it comes out. You hope…..

  5. When I grew up we lived way out in the country but our driveway was normal length to the road. People don’t drive at proper speeds though, for the weather. My dad answered the door many times, some during the day but a lot at night, asking him to come and pull them out of the ditch. Of course we knew everyone for miles around as my dad was born on the farm and lived there all his life and my brother farms it now. Just to show you how much property has gone up in the last 60 years my dad bought the farm from his brother and sister when his parents were gone and paid $18,000 for 240 acres. I remember that because I was in the 10th grade when my Grandma passed away (Grandpa passed away before I was born). My how times have changed. We live in town now but I’d prefer to live out in the country, but due to health problems we moved into town. I love your blog Jackie and have read it for some years now. The pictures really make it come alive.

    • Thanks Ruth Ann. Yes, we often think of how much prices have gone up. In 1976, when the book, A Veterinary Guide For Animal Owners came out, I bought a new 3/4 drive pickup, having driven junkers my whole life. It cost $7,800 and neighbors thought that was a terrible price to pay for a truck. Now the same truck would cost nearly $50,000! Talk about inflation! Unfortunately, the wages haven’t gone up in proportion, either…..

  6. Getting stuck is not anyone’s idea of a good time. We had to pull the skid steer one time – hit some ice and slid just enough. Didn’t take a lot of pull to get it off the icy spot but I could have used some antacid as I too was doing the pulling.
    And nothing warms a house better than a wood stove. Furnace warms the air, wood stove warms everything. Since we have no snow (but at least the rain has stopped and the ground is finally freezing), better half is taking advantage of free (future) firewood. Cleaning up some downed trees on a neighbor’s property. A win for all of us, especially since not a long drive back and forth. Not as cold as your neck of the woods but still cold in an open skid steer.

    • Hey, cold is cold! Will says he’s never been colder than when he was visiting his dad in western Washington. Forty degrees and raining. Chilled him to the bone.

  7. Hello Jackie…found this link to your seed business on you tube :Deep South Bama with Mr. Tom.

    1caramarie5 hours ago
    I found out about a couple who has a tiny seed company north of me, that sells seeds of hardy plants. If they grow way up in Northern Minnesota they have to be. It’s called Seed Treasure and you can find them in the internet. Right now it’s -13 F here, there it’s -16.

  8. I’ve been stuck-tractor,truck,skid steer and am thankful for good neighbors. Living in the country it’s a hazard. The cell phone is now a required device but I often forget it. Crazy how people stare at there phones. Glad all went well and you returned to a warm hearth. Winter has arrived.

    • Yup, I’ve also been stuck with about every wheeled vehicle out there. The only thing I haven’t been stuck with is a horse! Yeah, we’re stunned at how much people stare into their phones. I was flying out to speak at a preparedness expo and while waiting at my gate I looked around and everyone over the age of 2 was on some kind of device. But for me!!

  9. We call that “ditch suction”. When it gets you, there isn’t much you can do!

    Good to mention about the use of chains. They have taken out many a tractor, truck, and car windshield and sadly killed a few people over the years. If any readers wonder what to look for, a properly rated nylon tow strap is best. They allow for some stretch which will aid in pulling force, and are a bit easier on the vehicles when the tower “hits” the end. Get a cheap tool box to store the strap in (UV rays will damage them) and we put a couple of clevises and pins with it as they are handy too!

    I saw -17F on my way to work this morning. Stay warm!

    • Good ideas, Holly. Like I said, yanking on a chain is NOT a good idea….but sometimes we homesteaders are guarded by angels….

  10. We call that “ditch suction”. When it gets you, there isn’t much you can do!

    Good to mention about the use of chains. They have taken out many a tractor, truck, and car windshield and sadly killed a few people over the years. If any readers wonder what to look for, a properly rated nylon tow strap is best. They allow for some stretch which will in pulling force, and are a bit easier on the vehicles when the tower “hits” the end. Get a cheap tool box to store the strap in (UV rays will damage them) and we put a couple of clevises and pins with it as they are handy too!

    I saw -17F on my way to work this morning. Stay warm!

    • Yep, we’re very comfy and working like mad to update our little seed business. Spring planting will happen so soon!

  11. Saved the day by pulling the truck out! You will indeed feel blessed tonight in your warm, dry and well stocked home. Winter is so much fun!

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