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Rural Roots - Rural Roots is a column by Fred Jones
2012-03-09 at 11:32

March enters 2012 like a lamb

So, it came in like a lamb, this month of March.  Though grey and somewhat looking bleak, at least we had no fierce winds accompanied by any blizzard.  That event occurred at the end of February. 

We were supposed to receive all of that again but somehow it was our Duluth neighbours who were the lucky recipients.  The lion, though, had not left; he was just lurking.

And so it goes: a couple of days of warmth maybe with the occasional flurry and then wham!

The thermometer bottoms out, the winds blow, and my nose freezes.  But, thank heaven for small mercies.  I had to deliver a couple of round, hay bales to various horse paddocks. 

The small mercy entailed Red starting up almost immediately regardless of the minus twenty degree temperature during the night.  Hay bales were transported and deposited without mishap. 

Murphy (of Murphy’s Law) must have been harassing some other farmer that day.

My big fear, based on previous experiences this winter, is that while Big Red, my diesel tractor, is plugged in and the precious bodily fluids of the beast are warm, its battery has not on very cold nights.  I’ve been repeatedly told to either a) remove the battery from the tractor at night and store it in Casa Jones or b) purchase what is known as a battery blanket that surrounds it and keeps it warm no matter how cold Jack Frost makes it. 

Lazy I be in that I have not as yet bought the battery blankie and I refuse to extricate the battery from Big Red to be hauled into our hoosie because it weighs “a ton” as they say.|

I’ve pointed out to my children whenever we drive by famers’ fields that “in my day”, meaning just a few years ago, all the stubble on the fields that they see would have been covered by repeated snowfalls. 

The promised dump of snow that was to have blessed us right on the heels of the blast on the previous Sunday, would have done the trick. 

Then famers and other rural dwellers could have relaxed without worry that their wells would dry up come the paltry spring melt.  As it is, with very little frost in the ground, what snow we have should seep right into the ground.  One more large dump would insure it.

But spring is on the way.  One sure sign for me is what is becoming an annual event at our local community hall.  Marcus and Deb of Rose Valley Inn put on a fantastic feast featuring Irish food that is scrummy, doncha know. 

It takes place this Sunday evening, March 11, at the Gillies Community Hall.  Last year Deb and Marcus somehow finagled the incredible Pierre Schryer and his band to provide entertainment. 

If Pierre is playing, I’m going. His music is a combination of Celtic and French foot stomping stuff. I cannot keep my feet still when they play all those jigs, reels, and waltzes.  Pierre and his family/friend musicians are world-class and we are just bloody lucky that they were free to trundle out to the Gillies Community Hall (ours) for this St. Paddy’s Day feast.
So we get wonderful traditional Irish grub to warm our tums and wonderful Irish/Scots/French Celtic music to warm our feet this Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. at the Gillies Community Hall in South Gillies. 

Tickets can be purchased by calling 473-5448.  It is a good idea to purchase in advance so that Marcus knows how many tums to feed. 

See you there and wear something green.

You can contact Rural Roots by e-mail: or by writing to Rural Roots, P.O. Box 402, South Gillies, Ont. P0T 2V0.


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