Afternoon Undelight

Ranger In Snow

Saturday, February 25, 2023

It was a good thing that my head cold mostly had passed by yesterday morning. I looked outside at the snow and recognized that ahead would be lots of barn-related work. Living on acreage with large animals teaches, as a rule of thumb, to expect in snowy weather something to go wrong. Yesterday, frozen hoses became my unexpected problem.

The frost-free pump close to my horse troughs has been on the blink for weeks, and the ground too frozen for digging and replacing. So daily, I have filled watering troughs from another pump using a 25-foot hose. A couple of evenings back, I didn’t bother to disconnect that hose from the pump nozzle, and yesterday found both solidly frozen together. I had to use a large pipe wrench to loosen the hose from its spigot and discovered both ice-packed and unusable.

Oh, why hadn’t I disconnected and drained that hose! To blame was a then-fierce onset of my massive head cold.

Yesterday, in the snowy cold, nothing would thaw. Trough filling is essential, and I could work the problem by filling from a more distant pump, which called for 100 feet of hose. There were several gardening hoses up at the house, and I went to get one.

I carried it down and hooked it up, but discovered that it leaked too much. I went for another hose, only to run into more leakiness. With yet another hose, a different problem and still it didn’t work.

After struggling with hoses for a long while, I managed to find and hook up two that worked, but both were half-frozen, and water barely dripped through. I stood at the troughs with a hose barely dripping, and hoping that slightly running water would dislodge the icy blockages. Eventually that happened, and water filled the troughs.

That’s how I spent my afternoon.

Today, I have a shopping list. If you guess new hoses are at the top, that’s correct. I now recognize that replacing items won’t be enough. I must change my draining techniques. I drain hoses when summer ends and apparently not well. Ahead, my challenge is to figure out a technique that avoids repeats of those awful frozen-hose struggles.

Dear Friends: Annually, the weather brings new challenges and lessons for moving forward. Diana

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