Tuesday, February 26, 2019

How to get fuel up the icy driveway

We are setting up a retirement home in the back woods of Wisconsin.  There is baseboard heating, a propane furnace and an insert in the fireplace that will heat the house.

My handsome distance runner checked the fuel tank on the other side of the house the first weekend of February.  He determined more was needed and I contacted Hot Flame for a delivery.  

In the next two weeks of freeze - thaw - snow- wind - drifting and deep freeze the truck was not able to drive up the steep driveway because it was too icy.  They called me on a Thursday explaining why my fuel tank could go dry, causing all kinds of other problems.  

The original plan was to have a girl friend's weekend away from everything.  Instead...

A few phone calls on Thursday, and the situation was understood.  
1- Marinette County has a free-to-all sand pile that was gone.  There was a need beyond anticipated (because of the thaw, freeze, snow) for the sand and it had been used up.  More was anticipated the following week.
2- Once the sand was available, Bob would re-plow the driveway to remove the drifts and spread sand.  I'll repeat, the sand was to be delivered in 5 - 7 days... if they could get through the next snow storm.
3- Then his wife (Phyllis) would call the fuel company to let them know the driveway was passable and they could make the delivery.
4- Ever hopeful the girls weekend was not shot, I called my cousin Barb.  She lives in the next town to the north.  I asked her if it was possible to get my car safely up and down the driveway.  

What happened was.
1- Barb called her friend Phyllis to check out what could be done.
2- Bob went to the county yard to scrape the last grains of sand available and plowed the driveway, leaving the sand behind.
3- Phyllis called Hot Flame.
4- Barb called me to let me know the driveway was plowed and sanded.
5- I called Hot Flame and was told the delivery was to be added to the list.
6- It must have been a short list, or the dispatcher is another friend of my cousin Barb.  The truck got up the driveway and the delivery person dragged the hose to the tank on the other side of the ranch style house.  (The path had drifted over to a point of 2 foot deep since handsome distance runner shoveled it on February 3.)  Fuel was delivered.  The tank did not go dry.  All is right with our world.  And the villagers rejoiced!!  This is because a whole list of remarkable people went the extra mile.

Handsome distance runner decided to investigate the house and would make the 3 hour drive after work on Friday.  The photos below are how he found the property.  How he left it was with the path to the fuel tank re-shoveled, and both the garage and house roofs shoveled.  Yes, that is a 5 foot snow bank between the driveway and the garage.

Think this through...soon to retire man, alone, up on a roof with a shovel in a situation that could have him sliding off and landing in a drift with no one around to see or know until the thaw in April.  Of course, that excited him even more.  

 Photo of house from the garage below:
 Photo of driveway from the road below:

In our conversations since, he has expressed a desire to have a Komodo (?) to remove snow when we both retire.

The End.

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