19 February 2014

Snowy February

Today I thought to myself, this has GOT to be the snowiest February on record.

But then I realized that I'm sure I've said that before. Plus, I can't even remember last February, not to mention all the Februarys before that.

I find that I sort of prefer to block them out.

My husband is in charge of plowing the driveway and I do the shoveling, which usually doesn't amount to much. We came to this agreement a few years ago when our old snowblower died. He wanted to buy a new one and I wanted to just hire a plow guy.

Guess who won?

Yeah, so I told him flippantly that, "FINE, then YOU can do all the plowing."

Understand that the driveway must be plowed after most storms. A couple of inches isn't a big deal, but usually even that needs to be plowed up or else it will freeze and then it's a bear to plow when the next snow comes.

The shoveling, however, can be ignored to a large extent. You see, I shovel around the door to the garage (our winter-time entry way) and I shovel a space outside our back door. I also shovel a path for the oil guy, as well as a path along the back of the house that we use while raking the roof. And of course I shovel a path to the bird feeders.

If we only get a few inches, most of what I just described can simply be trampled on or even kicked out of the way. That's my take on it, anyway.

But then this morning I discovered that ignoring the frequent snowfalls is not a smart idea. Here's why.

We've had three storms in the past week and I ignored them all until today.

The first storm, last Friday, dumped a hefty 11 inches on us. I ignored it. Surely Spring was on the way and it would all melt soon anyway. Right?

Then on Saturday night, we were told to expect another 15 inches on top of that. Oh the horror! How dare the weatherman send us another big storm JUST ONE DAY after the last one?

But thankfully, that one only produced 2 inches.

Then last night, they were at it again - here comes the big one! Batten down the hatches!

And we did get 8 inches out of it.

So this morning, I decided I'd better go out there and clear those paths. And when I opened the back door, I saw 20 inches of snow...


But I also saw a very pretty sunrise...

It's hard to tell in this photo.

Anyway, my back hurt just from looking at it. But my husband had gotten up well before daylight to plow the driveway and I was home today. This was MY job. Besides, the roof needed raking. Rain is forecasted later this week (yeah, RAIN - what's up with that?) so I had to break some of the ice that was damming on the edge of the roof.

I shoveled.

The top 8 inches was easy. But beneath that was a layer of ice. 2 more inches of packed snow lay under that, and then another layer of ice. Under it all was the initial, very packed, 11 inches.

I had planned to go walking later in the day with a friend on our favorite 3-mile loop. But in the 90 minutes it took me to shovel a 25 foot path, I got all the exercise I'll ever need until the end of time.

When I was finished, I went inside to sit down for a minute, and promptly fell fast asleep for an hour. When I woke up, I was cold and stiff, but determined.

I ventured back outside and raked that roof. It's not easy. The part that most needs raking is the second story dormer in the back. That means adding all the extra extensions to the pole on the rake, and then balancing it up in the air until it hits the roof and hopefully not one of the second story windows.

Half an hour later I was done.

And then it started snowing again. Well, not until later in the afternoon, but it DID start snowing. And now, hours later, it's still at it.

But hey, Spring should be here any minute, right? Then it will all melt. Until then, I'm closing my eyes and covering my ears. Nananananananana....

Copyright © 2014 - Paulla Estes

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