*Another snow day.

I just heard one of the local Sioux Falls 10pm anchors say, “she recommends you take a multivitamin and maybe go tanning”.  The statement rounded out a report about a growing number of people experiencing depression due to the seemingly never-ending winter here.  Tanning.  Extreme measures apparently for extreme situations.  That’s not really something you hear people recommend anymore.

……………….

I’m not sure that in 6 years of school in Madison, Wisconsin .. we’ve had as many snow days as we’ve had in 3 months of school in South Dakota.

The house has been bustling it seems, at least a couple days each week this ‘spring’, with our 11 y.o. home from school.  Snowbound.  There have been countless late starts.  Early releases.  Days of no school at all.

Today was another early release.  And while the snow had only been falling a couple of hours .. by the time school had gotten out, the normal trip in to bring her home took 3x as long as usual.

I cancelled some afternoon business meetings I had really wanted to get to as a result.  I just didn’t want to risk it.  Again.

snowy roads

One of the more heavily traveled roads in and out of town ..

Country roads here are a different beast than they are, back in the Badger State and the Prius has been a champ of a car so far.  While I adore the gas mileage and it’s been a great vehicle for us, I desperately need 4 wheel drive.

Why?  Because everyone else has them and I’m the little (wo)man out there fighting the good fight, it seems.  Everyone’s always waiting on me to stop holding up traffic.  Passing.  Splashing.  Waiting for me to hit the ditch so that they can pass.  Well, they’re not that crass.  But you get the idea.  Either that or I need chains for my tires.

When snow falls here, it doesn’t fall.  It blows.  Sideways.  And where there aren’t massive random drifts, the snow sticks on the roads really, only when vehicles drive over it.  Creating an unbelievable icy mess even the plows seem to have a tough time clearing and getting out in front of.  So everything instead, shuts down.  Schools.  Businesses.  Highways.

This past month snowstorms have closed the Interstates here north to south and east to west pretty much across the entire state on multiple occasions.   And kept us home more than I’d ever imagined.   Hard to believe.  The Cowboy worries it’s just hard for me to be home so much.  A big switch from having a job that had me going into work to report the news regardless of the weather – getting into the anchor desk however I had to get there.  Now, being a product of the news and bunkering down at home to ride what has been at least one major storm a week.

Short of getting a little restless, and having my own work from home days disrupted by a house full of family that was supposed to be elsewhere for the entire day .. it’s been strangely entertaining and a bit refreshing to have everyone around and just spend some down time together with nowhere else to go.  In part, because we can’t.

Speaking of refreshing .. this snow shouldn’t stick around long.  And hoping it’s the last we see of it this spring.  Temps are supposed to be in the 70’s by the weekend.

Help: Looking for (a Good) Home ..

Dogs appear to be the theme of the week.

…………

For as far back as I can remember, I have always brought home stray animals.  Cats, rabbits, dogs, rats .. whatever I knew had been abandoned or injured made its way home with me as a child.

My dad would always try and console me when I would get home from school and they would be gone, “Oh honey, I don’t know where they went.  They must have gotten out.”

My affection for animals, any/all/lost/hurt/stray/whatever comes my way, continues as an adult ..

Much to the amusement and dismay of those closest to me.

Lost

Lost

For instance ..

As I was driving to an appointment yesterday in a very remote area, I saw cars swerving ahead of me.  Deer, I figured.  I slowed as I approached the area.  Sure enough, I thought as I saw something small and tan alongside the road.

But as I got closer I saw it was actually a dog.

‘Darn dog,’ I thought to myself.  ‘Get off the highway, you’re going to get hit.’

Then a second appeared.  They didn’t seem to care they were wandering out into whatever traffic happened to be coming along.  They were just wandering.  Checking things out.  Not seeming to have a care in the world, even if it did have 18 wheels on it and was headed for them.

I looked around quickly, no ranches, no homes, we were miles from any town.  Nothing seemed to be within wandering off distance for the two.  And still they wandered down the middle of the two lane highway.

Now, I’m pretty sure what I did next is something most rural folks don’t do very often.

Long overdue nap.

Long overdue nap.

I pulled over.  Backed up.  And got out to see if they were ok.

Tails wagging, tongues flapping about and seeming overall healthy, into the back seat they went.  I drove about 4 miles to the nearest town.  It was early and in that town of about 800 I saw no one around. The two businesses I could find weren’t yet open.

I had to get to my appointment.  They went with and crashed in the backseat as though they hadn’t slept in days.  I called everyone I could think to call, the  Sheriff’s Office and filed a report, area Shelters, businesses, residents.  No one seemed to know of or be looking for this pair.

Hours later, I came back through that small town, made a couple more stops into the only places the locals could think they might belong.  Other shelters in surrounding counties weren’t answering calls or were at capacity with no room to take them.  Our local Veterinary Clinic said they would add to the list of dogs they already had that had been abandoned in case anyone called.

“Be prepared for a couple overnight visitors,” I told the Cowboy as I got closer to home.  Not exactly what he wanted to hear, especially after the conversation from the day about our own dogs.

Why Can't We Be Friends

Why Can’t We Be Friends

But they were sweet and stuck close and seemed to appreciate the help.

I hope someone out there is missing them and searching.  I’m trying to make it as easy as possible for them to be found.  But I cried today as I dropped them off at the only shelter that would take them.  Had they been able to get along with our two labs, we would have continued to foster until home or a new home was found.

Or.  I might have kept them.  Had everyone been cool with it.

“Four dogs, on top of everything else we have is just too much,” says the Cowboy.

I’m not sure we’ll ever see eye to eye on that one.  Regardless, I am quite certain there will be others someday finding shelter in the backseat of my car.  If only temporary.

Wishing our girls good luck.  Hope hope home finds its way back to you again, soon.