It was snowing when I went to work this morning. I guess another inch or so fell since last night, and the roads were worse today than they were yesterday. I fishtailed a little when I was on one of the back roads leading to the Interstate. The Interstate itself was not as bad, except that cars were creeeeeping along. I was late getting Beth to school.

It continued to snow all through the day. About one o’clock I got a call from Va. She had missed the driveway to the church/school and went into a snow bank. She was pretty well stuck. She had been going there early to key in the library card catalog data, and I assume that’s why she was there at 1:00 today. I got in my car and was there in about 15 minutes. First I went down to the Pathfinder trailer to get some rope. I found some 5/8″ nylon and then parked my car near hers. As I was tying the rope onto our cars, a State Trooper came and offered to stop traffic while I attempted to pull her out. But it was no use. All my car would do was spin. I untied the rope and parked in the church lot, and the trooper called a tow truck. Va went in and (I presume) entered card catalog data. I waited in my car and listened to the radio. The truck was there in about an hour I guess, and he managed to pull her car out in short order. Thanks to AAA, it cost me nothing. I parked her car in the church lot and then went in and told Va that the deed had been done. Then I went back to the office.

When I got home, we had about four inches of snow on the ground. I decided it was high time the boys had snowblower lessons. Since I have a new snowblower that is far easier to control and which will stop when you let go of it, I figured they were man enough to handle that. So after supper we went out. I showed them all the controls. Jonathan started the engine and cleared out a little less than half the driveway.

On his last pass he was turning around near the garage with the auger off, but still scooping up snow. David was standing on the sidewalk. I could see this one coming, though neither David nor Jonathan did (or so they say). About the time Jonathan got the snowblower even with David, he enabled the auger, and snow came barrelling out the chute, right into David’s face.

I thought it was pretty funny! David laughed too, so he must have been in a good mood. Jonathan blew a little more and then bravely handed the snowblower over to his brother. David pretty much finished the rest, and Jonathan escaped unscathed. I did want to clean up a little more out near the road, so I took the snowblower from David and they both went in the house.

Now I should be able to call the house on a snowy day and have them clear the driveway before I get home. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities to see how well that works.

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This has been an action-packed weekend. After church yesterday, the Adventurer Club met at the Haggett Farm. They worked on their Tree Fun patch, and I got to serve as the expert tree identifier for them. They found plenty of maple (striped, sugar, and red), oak (red and white), witch hazel, beech, birch, white pine, hemlock, spruce, and balsam fir. I know Ken has Sassafras and cherry up there too, but we didn’t come across any. He also has an orchard. We also hiked down to the beaver pond. I took a few photos while there, some of which I really liked:

An old stump in the beaver pond

An old stump in the beaver pond


Broken Footbridge

Broken Footbridge


Pool of Water

Pool of Water


The broken footbridge crosses the creek that drains the beaver pond. The water just kind of seeps out between the rocks in the dam and then pools up (picture three) before gathering itself into the stream. I really liked the photo of the pool.

After the Adventurer activities were finished, we hung around until the Haggett’s annual Harvest Party. Ken built a bonfire and we all gathered around it and ate a potluck meal. There was plenty of good food to go around. After dark Ken fired up the tractor and pulled a hay wagon around the farm (complete with riders). Before he put it in gear though he gave a speech about how important it was for everyone to stay on the wagon, because he didn’t want to accidentally run over anyone. And everybody but one kid listened to his advice. He thought it would be a good idea to hang over the front edge of the wagon and kick at the wagon wheel. Which promptly grabbed him and sucked him under. Yes, he was run over by the wagon from his calf over his right shoulder. He seemed OK to me, and for the most part, he was. It was in a soft pasture, so the wagon pressed him down into the ground rather than crushing every bone it passed over (which was a lot). We had two doctors on board and they did a quick examination by the light of several flash lights. Then they took him up to the house and had a better look. His parents took him in for X-rays. No broken bones, no internal bleeding, but lots of road rash (or pasture rash I suppose) and some bruising. Anyhow, he’s in pretty good shape considering what happened.

That brings me to today. For Jonathan’s fitness class, he has been organizing hikes, and the last one was today. We hiked up Mount Major. Three kids from the Pathfinder Club came with us and we also brought Penny. David was busy with school work, and Beth decided to sit this one out.

When we got there, I guess there must have been 200 cars parked along the shoulders of the road. Needless to say, the parking lot was at capacity as well. It was a perfect day to take that hike with the leaves pretty much at peak, holiday weekend (Columbus Day), and perfect weather.

I whipped out my camera about half way up the mountain, took a picture, and was told (by the camera) “No Memory Card” – boo. Luckily, I have a tiny one in my camera bag. It has enough room to hold six full-sized pictures. I reduced the image size so I was able to take a few more than that. Here’s a nice one:

Fall Foliage from Mount Major

Fall Foliage from Mount Major


Here’s another showing Lake Winnipesaukee:
Lake Winnipesaukee from Mount Major

Lake Winnipesaukee from Mount Major

We got down to the bottom again by about 1:00pm and headed home. Shortly after that, it was time for a Pathfinder meeting. Today we worked on the President’s Fitness Challenge. Luckily, I had to run the stop watch to time everyone in the mile, so I kinda got out of it. Va had invited the Adventurer’s too, because they also need to do that. So we ended up running all the kids through all five events (the mile, shuttle run, V-sit, push ups, and sit-ups). We did that first so the Adventurers wouldn’t have to wait for us to get to that part of our meeting.

At the meeting we finished up the theory portion of the Hiking honor. And now here I am at home, pretty much wiped out.

This morning I got the kids to school a little late. I’m going to have to get up earlier or something – I hate being late. As the girls were in the back seat chattering, they happened to mention something about ice skating, and that was what reminded me. I dropped them off, but before I left, I called Va and asked her if I was supposed to have brought a check with me to give to Camille so she could pay for the ice skating. Oops! Yes, I was. She said she’d come in a little early and bring the check. I decided to pop in on class and let Camille know that the check was on its way so she shouldn’t have to worry. Then it was off to work for me.

Va called me today around 3:00pm. Pastor Cliff had gone to the ice arena with the school, and he fell on the ice. He managed to break his femur. I emailed the other elders to let them know, and I called the one who doesn’t use email and left him a voicemail.

Shortly after that I got a call from Brian (our new head elder). We went to the hospital to visit with Cliff and anoint him (as per James 5). He had spent the entire afternoon in the ER, but just as we got there, he had been moved to a room. His wife Sue was there, and he was just getting settled in, surrounded by nurses (including Sue, though she nurses at the hospital in Laconia). They were asking him all kinds of very personal questions, so we tried to not listen. I was thinking maybe we should have repeatedly clapped our hands over our ears as we yelled “HIPAA! HIPAA! HIPAA!” so we couldn’t hear what they were saying, but that would have been… disruptive?

They had him on some happy pills, but honestly, Cliff is always happy anyhow, so it was hard to tell. Our church requires that a pastor be present at an anointing, but luckily, Cliff is a pastor, so that counted. We prayed for him, and Brian applied the oil. Then we grabbed his car keys and left (more on that in a minute).

We got in the elevator and I pressed “G”. Then noticed that there was another button labelled “Lobby” so I pressed that one too. Brian thought “G” was correct because we came in through the ER entrance. But when the door opened to the lobby, we saw Camille and her husband Shawn. We hopped off and chatted with them for a few minutes. Shawn is the pastor in West Lebanon, NH, and we needed to talk to him anyhow.

Tomorrow we’re having an Agape Feast at church, which is sort of a special communion service. We needed to ask Shawn if he’d fill in for Cliff, but he couldn’t. Shawn was only the first person on the list of pastors for us to ask, so we still had options (the second person on the list agreed to fill in, incidentally).

Cliff’s car was still at the ice arena, so Brian and I went to get it. I drove it to the church, and someone else will ferry it to his house tomorrow. Then Brian took me back to the hospital and I got in my car and came home.

Cliff is supposed to have surgery tomorrow, so hopefully that will go well. I’m not saying it’s a good thing he broke his leg, but it is good that everyone in the church is now thinking about all he does for us. He is a very fine man indeed, and well-loved by his congregation. Get well soon Cliff!