A Day in the Life… by Harmony Barron


I wrote this piece back in 2009 and had it posted on our old website quite a while back… thought I’d dust it off for y’all to enjoy.

~ A DAY IN THE LIFE OF OUR LITTLEST MUSHER ~ by Harmony Barron

The alarm clock woke us at 4:00 am. Oksana’s dentist appointment wasn’t until 10:00 am– on a good day you can get from our house to Helena in an hour and a half; this was not a good day.
It was mid January of 2009, and we were having a record snow fall for this part of Montana. Of course it was snowing when we went to bed, {there hadn’t been clear skies for six weeks or better}  but around midnight, the wind picked up a head of steam, and the snowflakes turned to the size of boulders adding another two feet to our total accumulation.

We skipped coffee and tea that morning due to the long task ahead, and set straight to work. Jason strapped on his headlamp, grabbed his buckets of dog food, and set out bullying his way down to the lower dog lot on foot. I was in the process of tip towing out to do puppy chores when Oksana awoke in an early morning, tear flowing frenzy. After calming my little one down, I went outside and shoveled the four foot drift away from the door to the generator shed, then got the power going. Once the house was aglow, I headed back in to put on Oksana’s favorite movie, 101 Dalmatians. With her wrapped in a blanket on the sofa with Krengle, her stuffed dog, I once again resumed my daunting task of finding the puppy lot.

I was three months into my second pregnancy, and just getting over the worst case of morning/all day sickness imaginable. My candle light glow of a headlamp just barely illuminated the snow fall which was whipping past me sideways. The trail to the puppies was completely gone, and the drifted snow was up to my waist. Every so often, I’d step off the perceived path and sink up to my arm pits. With only half of the food left in my buckets I finally made my way to the first puppy pen gate. I gritted my teeth to hold back a series of negative exclamations, for the pens hadn’t escaped the fury of the drifted snow.  After what seemed like an eternity of digging out the gates, I fed all of the frantic little pups, scooped as much snow out of their houses as I could, gave them all fresh straw, fed and watered the horses, then made my way back to the house.

Thank goodness Oksana hadn’t noticed my absence.  I then dressed my sleepy little girl, and shoved her into her snow suit. Any moment now Jason would be showing up with an eight dog team, ready to haul us to the truck which was parked two miles away, down where the county quits plowing. When our coach arrived, I killed the generator and loaded Oksana and myself into the sled. Some of Jason’s finest up and coming stars had their work cut out for them getting us down the hill. The trail that they just laid in moments before was nowhere to be found. The jerking motions of the sled must have been comforting to Oksana, for she was lulled back to sleep within minutes of leaving the house. With constant encouragement from Jason, the dogs finally got us to our truck, which was, well… completely buried. Now for the fun part, getting ourselves to the highway! The county plow hadn’t been out in days, and with the fury of the current storm, who knew what lay ahead. After shoveling off our pickup, we put chains on all four tires, shifted her into low, crossed our fingers and burled our way out.

Later that morning, as we sat in the busy waiting room of the pediatric dentist clinic in Helena, I looked around at all the kids and their various parents and I had to laugh a little. I wondered what type of morning the other children had encountered, and what kind of effort had been involved in getting them to their appointments on time. Oksana’s only two and a half years old, so she certainly won’t remember this particular day in her life, but Jason and I are certain that with experiences like this, and with the life style she’s being raised in, she is bound to grow into a self possessed, confident, happy, well rounded, tougher then nails individual who loves animals and people, and appreciates the gifts that life brings to her.  Jason and I are ‘parents first’ and we recognize everyday what a little miracle our daughter is.

Thanks for stopping by folks, have a lovely evening.

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