John’s wife gets worried when he goes out to the barn during the worst blizzard of the century and decides to go and rescue him despite the danger.
Jenny Sennite was seventy-four years old and she wasn’t enjoying retirement as much as she’d imagined. In fact, she hated it. She had tried to talk her husband John into buying a condo in Florida so they could soak up the sunshine, but John had other ideas.
His grandparents had been farmers in Montana and he had fond memories of the summers he’d spent with them. So John got them a little ranch with a pretty red barn and a handful of sheep and moved them to Montana. But John had never spent winters in Montana…
Jenny started getting worried when John didn’t come back from the barn | Source: Shutterstock..com
Spring was gorgeous, and summer was glorious, but as soon as autumn nipped the air, Jenny knew things weren’t going to be as picture-book-perfect as John had imagined.
For one, animal farming was actually a lot of work. True, they only had five sheep, three goats, a handful of chickens, and one pig, but they all had to be fed and cared for and it was a 24/7 job.
John had wanted nanny goats for the milk — “We’re going to make our own cheese!” he’d exclaimed excitedly, but milking meant they had to get up before sun-up and it had to be done all over again at sundown.
The sheep had had lambs, but three of the tiny creatures had to be bottle-fed. More work! Oh, the farm fresh eggs were lovely, but someone had to go into the barn and get them from under the bad-tempered red hens!
John had spent his summers in his grandparents’ farm in Montana | Source: Pixabay
Nope, farm life wasn’t at all what John had told Jenny it would be. It was hard, repetitive work, and it was a lonely and boring life. So for entertainment, Jenny started watching every nature documentary she could get her hands on.
Every bit of knowledge we acquire is precious.
John was irritated. He told Jenny she had become addicted to the TV and wasn’t interested in anything else. Jenny was tired of sheep, goats, pigs, and chickens, and the weather — which was all John talked about, and she said so.
They had been married for fifty years, but for the first time, they were drifting apart. “You’re just not trying, Jenny!” John cried angrily.
“I’ve done what you wanted, I live where you want me to live, what more can you expect!” Jenny replied.
Farming didnt turn out to be as much fun as John had imagined | Source: Unsplash
“I want you to be happy like you used to be!” John shouted.
“You don’t make me happy, John Sennite, so go and milk a goat or something!” Jenny screamed. John turned bright red and stomped out. That night he slept on the couch and didn’t say a word to Jenny.
The next day dawned dark and dreary and Jenny saw the weather forecast for their area. “John,” she called to him. “They say we’re going to be hit with the storm of the century! A huge blizzard…”
“I can hear just fine,” John said. “I heard about the blizzard and I’m putting up the storm windows.” He walked out in his anorak and galoshes and Jenny heard him hammering around the house.
Jenny quickly got bored with farm life | Source: Unsplash
By the time the sun went down a terrible snowstorm was blowing. Jenny was busy making dinner when she saw John heading for the door. “Where are you going?” she asked.
“To milk the goats,” John said coldly. “Someone has to do the work.”
“John, it’s dangerous! You should stay in…” Jenny said, but John was already out the door. Jenny watched worriedly as he vanished into the swirling snow. Hours passed, and Jenny grew more and more worried.
It was time enough for John to have fed the animals and milked the goats. He should have been back by now warming his feet by the fire and grumbling about dinner being late because she’d been watching TV…
John thought Jenny watched too much TV | Source: Unsplash
Jenny peeked out of the back door. She couldn’t even see the barn, she couldn’t see anything but a shifting curtain of howling snow. And John was out there in the barn. “He’ll never make it back alone!” she said to herself. “I have to go get him!”
Jenny put on her coat, but then she started thinking that maybe she’d better make a plan or she’d be lost in the blizzard with no one to rescue her! She remembered a documentary she’d seen recently about scientists stationed in the Antarctic over the winter.
They had ropes stretched between the different buildings in the camp so they wouldn’t get lost. Maybe Jenny could adapt their idea! She found a roll of rope and tied one end around her waist and another to the back door. That should work!
She wrapped a scarf around her face and set off. Jenny couldn’t see a thing, but she had an idea of the general direction of the barn. It was so cold, and the wind was so fierce, but she imagined John stuck in the barn, cold and hungry, and she soldiered on.
There was a terrible blizzard and John was trapped in the barn | Source: Pixabay
Then suddenly she bumped into something. It was the barn! Carefully she felt her way until she found the door and pushed it open. The first thing she saw was John looking very miserable sitting on a bale of hay wrapped in an old horse blanket.
“Jenny!” he cried, jumping to his feet. “How did you get here?”
“You were late and so I came to find you,” Jenny said. “And bring you home for dinner.”
“But we’ll never find our way back in this blizzard,” said John. “Now you’re stuck here too!”
Jenny remembered how Antarctic explorers had survived in the snow | Source: Unsplash
“Nope!” said Jenny proudly, and showed John the rope tied around her waist. “All we have to do is follow the rope back to our own back door!”
John’s mouth hung open. “I should have thought of that!” he cried. “That’s brilliant!”
“I saw it in one of those useless documentaries I like…” said Jenny with a wink. “Come on, let’s go home!”
The two followed the rope back, step by torturous step through the terrible storm until they were safe and sound back in their kitchen drinking hot chocolate. It was a close call, and John knew he owed it all to Jenny.
John never criticized Jenny for watching documentaries again, and promised they would spend a few weeks in Miami and someone else could milk the goats.
John never criticized Jenny again | Source: Unsplash
What can we learn from this story?
- Think before you act. John went off to the barn without considering how he would return through the blizzard, but Jenny made a plan and rescued him.
- Every bit of knowledge we acquire is precious. You never know when something you learn is going to come in useful — like crossing to a barn in a blizzard.
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