Written by Holden Asmus
Snow is in the air, fireplaces are blazing, and everyone seems to be in a happier mood. Families come together this time of year to celebrate the holidays and the joy of the season, with that brings many memories.
One of our family traditions is to attend the candlelight service in Rake, Iowa. Since we were kids, my brother and I always liked to play with the fire. When the time in the service would come, we would always remove the plastic cup that would catch the wax and as the wax would drip, we would see who was tough enough to let it sit on their hand the longest. Then, at the end of the service, we would extinguish our candles with a quick pinch of the wick.
I have always loved winter time, even after the holiday season. I remember when I was a kid, I would turn on the radio to hopefully hear North Iowa among the list of Snow Day Schools. Even if we had a 2-hour delay, I was pumped because that meant I could be out in the snow. I remember one year, the snow was piled so deep, I would go to the neighbor’s farm to sled off the roof of their shed. At the time, that hill felt like a mountain and that saucer would fly at Mach speeds down the roof.
Once my brother and I were able to finally drive, our snow day activities changed. The winter of my senior year, Garrett and I piled into my 1989 Ford F250 (a.k.a. the Red Baron.) That particular snow day was pretty rough, even to the point where businesses were refraining from opening their doors. There was an elderly woman in Rake who was a very close friend to our family. She and my mother would often trade jams and preserves and if we were lucky, we would even get a jar of Bessie’s tomato jam.
During that brutal snow day, Garrett and I took it upon ourselves to scoop her driveway. We were ignorant to the fact that the wind was howling and snow was flying everywhere, but we wanted to get out of the house. As we drove around the corner of Diagonal Street, we come upon a series of snowdrifts, none too big for Ol’ Baron. As we are busting through drift after drift, we noticed the size of each drift gradually getting larger. The final drift was one large enough for us to stop. It was so deep, maybe the top two inches of the yield sign were visible. With a quick glance at each other, we charge ahead for one final bust. As we hit the drift, the windshield went white. Once the snow cleared, we could see through to town, which was being cleared by city crew members already. However, the final drift was too much for the Ol’ Baron, as we were wedged about six inches above the street.
Full of embarrassment, we began the process of scooping the truck out of the drift. With a little help from the city crew, a chain, and a skid loader, we were pulled from the drift and back onto pavement. At that point, Bessie’s driveway was already scooped, so we returned home. Regardless, it was worth the drive.
Yes, the cold, wind and the snow can be a real pain at times. But for me, winter time will still be the most wonderful time of the year.
Holden Asmus is the 3rd generation at Asmus Farm Supply and H&H Farms. He grew up on the family farm in Rake, IA where he spent his time watching both the farm and AFS grow. Holden began with AFS after graduating from Iowa State University in May of 2014 as a chemistry sales agronomist. He is also very active in the community as the assistant high school football coach, volunteer firefighter and treasurer of his church.