Martin swore on a stack of bibles that this would be a bad winter.

I hate when Martin’s right.

Merely December 18th and already we’re in snow panic. But this time, forecasters aren’t hyping a sugary dusting or a thick icing glaze. This time, it’s the whole eight-layer coconut cake.

We don’t know how much snow we’ll get. Only that we’re at the epicenter of colliding storms.

So this afternoon, while most people were cued in line with milk and toilet paper, Martin was jockeying for position at the tractor repair store — with every other tractor owner who’s been caught off-guard without a plow attachment or a tune-up.

Aside from the fact that it’s still geared for summer mowing, our tractor is plagued with a flat tire. The store didn’t have the same tire in stock but no matter. Martin picked the closest back-up model and now is outside with a light strapped to his forehead, wrenching that damn tire into place.

I thought by now we’d be all set — hay thrown out for the animals, stalls banked with bedding, water troughs filled and heated…and tractor at the ready. I thought we’d be watching a movie and glancing at the pregnant clouds poised to snow.

Instead we’re still in maintenance mode and already a few linty flurries have fallen.

Hurry up Martin. This is not a test, this is the real deal!