Clouds nestled down on top of us this morning, the grey sky dropping more snow, the wind staying at a whisper, the temperature frigid. My chickens were left locked in their warm coop. I made my way to Megan’s house to apply another coat of poly on the sunflower table.
The sudden call of a meadowlark interrupted my audiobook. My ringtone scared me into action and I answered.
“This is Tess. Have you seen a delivery guy hauling a new feeder? Brandon met him down the road but he hasn’t arrived here yet.”
“Well, no, I’m at Megan’s and I can’t see the highway. Want me to go look?”
Paintbrush down, coat and snow boots on, Bravo loaded so he wouldn’t just follow me, and I was off. It wasn’t much of a search. As soon as I popped over the little hill, I spied a pickup hauling a flatbed loaded with a hay feeder. I could see the driver already out, looking as our neighbor drove closer in his tractor. I pulled up, lowered my window and “I think that’s my feeder. You missed the turn.” The guy took a few steps my way reluctantly, still watching the tractor approach. “It’s back that way. Three miles.”
“This yours?” He waved the invoice at me, his accent unmistakable. “Yes, yes, back that way three miles.” He shot another look at the tractor, clearly wishing he could talk to the driver instead of me. “It’s mine. You want to follow me?” A moment of indecision, and the indifference of our neighbor who appeared not ready to make a claim on the feeder, and he shook his head in agreement. “I follow you.”
I had quickly decided to lead him to the other place, making the assumption that detailed instructions may not be easily understood. Colorado plates, snow packed roads, and a dismal day just all added to the equation. On a bright, sunny day, delivery people have blown right by our big Greet Ranch centennial sign. Popping over the big hill, sometimes they just stare at the valley and miss the turn. Then they can be put off by the mile long driveway.
I drove slowly, leading him in, wishing I could warn him about certain spots. Just because he spoke Spanish didn’t mean he hadn’t driven bad roads or narrow ones, but not knowing made me drive slowly, in turn, slowing him down. I began looking at our road through different eyes.
There’s the steep initial drop from the highway dubbed “the beaver slide”, which can be slick, but luckily wasn’t. The cattle guard and narrow ravine on both sides. Up a bit the road bends around a hill whose steep drop off can lead you clear to the creek in a spot or two. Another narrow ravine. Another steep drop off just on the left. When I thought about it, our driveway could petrify some drivers only used to wide roads, barrow ditches and guardrails. At the bottom of the last hill, Daniel sat waiting in the warmth of his tractor.
“He doesn’t speak much English”, I warned. “Ok” he smiled in reply. I clambered back in my car, not dressed for the single digit temperature. I struggled with my phone that says I now have too many photos to take any more. I kicked myself for leaving my camera by the table. Oh, well. I had a wet paintbrush to return to and an audiobook to finish. My good deed of the day complete, I motored home, painting a picture in my mind of lowered clouds and snow and misplaced truck drivers who might just need a helping hand.Find me here!