Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Shortest Day

Early this morning at 1:08 a.m., we passed “officially” into winter here in the Northern Hemisphere. While it was still “officially” autumn, here in New England, we were already deep in the thick of winter. We have been in a cycle where we get a snow storm every few days and now seem to have more snow accumulated by the first day of winter than we had all of last year. Unfortunately that means we are also into a very messy and challenging phase of winter. Today we have been clearing our roofs of the snow load and knocking down icicles. Then we’ve shoveled some of the relocated roof snow farther away from the house. Why do all this work? Rain is coming tomorrow - a lot of rain. That rainwater is going to go somewhere. The first stop is to sink into the roof snow like a sponge, adding tremendous weight to the roofs. Then the rest of the rainwater needs to go somewhere and with the ground well frozen, after the snow on the ground soaks up what it can, the water will keep being drawn by gravity to a lower place. For us, in a worst case scenario, that can mean our cellar. So the more we do to ready the house, the better off we’ll be.

The up side? The aquifers will continue to be recharged and we shouldn’t have any water shortage problems come spring. Right now that seems like a somewhat distant up side. In the meantime, we’ve got a cellar drain, a crazy long roof rake, shovels, an ice spade and our backs are holding up fine - thank heavens for acetaminophen and arnica montana! Perhaps most importantly, this isn’t our first rodeo. When we moved into this house in September, fourteen years ago, we had a ferocious first winter. Tons of snow and no snow blower, heavy rain on top of snow and we didn’t initially understand the elegance of the cellar drain and then the furnace died. Welcome to life in an old house in the country. It was a baptism by fire - well - water, lots and lots of water; ice to rain and everything in between. That old saying: “a pint’s a pound, the world around” means that one gallon weighs eight pounds. And moving that much water, in any form, is a challenge. “Let the tool do the work” and “Let gravity be your friend” are words to live by right now in our neck of the woods. My rest break over, I’m off to do a little more of each before dinner. I believe I see a bottle of Prosecco in our future...


dancingmorganmouse said...

You may just have cured me of wanting to live where it snows ;) Good luck with coming rains & merry merry (enjoy that fizzy wine).

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
Ooops! Well, this is the flip side of all the pretty pictures and the "White Christmas" fantasy!
Merry wishes right back to you!
- Lee
P.S. The wine was just right!

Roo said...

Prosecco - good for you, I love the stuff! at least you have plenty of ice to chill it ;o)

Pink Granite said...

Hey Roo -

Yes, the Prosecco was very nice with an icicle swizzle stick!
- Lee