Slightly Snowbound

We’ve been a little bit snowbound here at Mahon due to the heavy storms of the last few weeks. I say “a little bit” because if there was an emergency, say one of the kids needed stitches or my husband ran out of Copenhagen, we could chain up all four tires on the Dodge, grab a shovel just in case and make it out. But, we have plenty of groceries, diapers, and tobacco products, so we’ve just been holed up at our little cow camp enjoying the snow.

Our pantry is plum-chuck full because I went nuts buying groceries during my last town trip. I stocked up on canned tomatoes, huge blocks of cheese, frozen veggies, pasta and chocolate like a professional prepper. I was actually slightly embarrassed by the obscene amount of food I stuffed into my old Jeep and brought home. I thought for sure Jim would make fun of me.

It’s been two weeks since I last grocery shopped, and no one is laughing because we are still eating fresh garden salad and lasagna. I saved a big bag of dried mangoes to dig into after the fresh fruit ran out, and we are all enjoying the sweet, yummy island treat out here in the desert. I froze the big box of yogurt cups, and I bring four or five into the house at a time to thaw so that Milo has a steady supply of his favorite food.

With the food situation squared away, all we have left to do is chop firewood and play in the snow. While Jim packs salt and does his ranch work, me and the kids have been exploring the white, wintry desert. I’m teaching Grace how to track. I had a childhood dream of being able to determine the species, gender, age, color, and number of offspring of any animal by its tracks. I’m teaching Grace about tracks, both to see if she has an interest and to sharpen my own skills. I’m totally going to become a pro tracker if this whole writing career doesn’t pan out. So far, she can track trucks, horses, dogs (if the dog is standing in its tracks), and herself.

We took a break from our tracking lessons and went on a pirate adventure. My little girl became The Dread Pirate Grace, I (naturally) was Andre the Giant, Jim was a princess, and Milo was the brave knight who rescued the princess from the evil dragon, aka Sis the cowdog. Grace steered while I rowed the ship and we heartily sang “Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum/It’s a pirate’s life for me!” until we saw an island. We walked onto shore, because Grace doesn’t know how to swim yet, and found several chunks of gold buried under a tree.

We returned to the castle under a heavy firestorm of snowballs from the princess, who had turned on us for some reason. I snatched up the brave knight, who was cold and needed a nap, and hollered at The Dread Pirate Grace to run for the house – I mean castle. Then, I reassessed the snow- and ice-covered ground and hollered for her to walk quickly yet carefully to the castle.

Once safely inside our snug little castle, we ate graham crackers and watched – of course – The Princess Bride.

Buttercup, Wesley and the rest had some pretty awesome adventures on both land and sea, but I’d wager we have just as much fun on a daily basis out here at the O RO Ranch. We might be slightly snowbound, but we’re traveling the world via our imaginations.


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