In December, our kids enjoyed a highly-anticipated snow day during the school week. It was just enough snow to play and sled in. The temperatures stayed low and the snow stuck around for a couple of days. The kids bundled up and took turns slinging each other around on plastic disk sleds in an open field with an RTV.
When it is cold outside, my husband and I like to be in the house with a fire. The kids were inspired to build a snowman family with the abundant precipitation. Some of their snowmen were constructed to be big and tall (I think those two depicted the parents). They begged us to come out and help them lift the boulder-sized snowballs onto the bodies of the snowmen. My husband told them to go get a piece of equipment and figure it out.
Our kids are relentless when it comes to snow construction. Our oldest son got the skid steer and used it to load and put the bodies of their snow family perfectly in place. His sisters and brother packed snow and decorated faces with whatever they could scavenge up from our front yard. It was a team effort. And an impressive snow family of six emerged.
The roads began to clear in Fayetteville, Ark., and school was back on. After doing copious amounts of snow day laundry, I was glad to see everyone back at school. Each day after, the kids took inventory of how much the snow family had deteriorated until they ceased to exist in our front yard. The talk then turned to what they planned to build for the NEXT snow day.
Last weekend, a soft blanket of snow appeared on our farm overnight. I checked the weather and told the kids it was not going to stick around long. The next morning our boys were out the door at the crack of dawn. They rigged up sleds with the farm Kubota to drag each other around. They invited the neighbor kids to join in on the action. Things got wild up in the open field because the snow was disappearing quickly due to the rising temperatures.
I left for work that morning, hoping my husband was supervising the snow day activities. He was not. It was not long after I left that I got a call that our oldest son had run the Kubota into a flatbed trailer up on the hillside. He was pulling through the gate and looking backward making sure his sled rider was safe and ran right into it, knocking out a headlight and messing up the tire alignment. I did not ask my husband what his reaction was.
When I got home the kids and my husband had the RTV jacked up in the shop. My kids tear things up on occasion (so does my husband). Thankfully, they all know to work together to fix mistakes. I have no inkling of how their brains work. I was fascinated when the Kubota was back on the road again the same day.
After a contentious presidential election cycle, our country feels broken. Friends and neighbors have had tense disagreements. Social media has just been ugly. Many of us entered 2021 with uneasy feelings. What we all need right now is hope. My personal hope is for us to work as an American team, much like my children, to put our country back together, neighbor.
Jody Harris is a freelance communications specialist, gardener, ranch wife and mother of four. She and her family raise Angus beef cattle and other critters on their northwest Arkansas ranch. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Jody, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’