Friday, February 10, 2017

Snow Day

So the big day has come and gone. We survived, though my lower back is a bit achy.

Wednesday night we received the automated calls from the schools telling us they were closing for the monster 6”-12” that would blanket us in the early morning hours. In retrospect, that was nice. I got a text around 6:30 am that my work would be closed. That was nice, too. But I was already up, as Patch, a.k.a. the Human Alarm Clock, was thumping up and down the stairs around 5:45 or so.

She and I had bowls of cereal, then inspected the outside terrain. Looked like about three inches, judging from the white stuff piling up on the deck railings. But boy was it coming down. Small flakes, more like a continuous mist of snow rather than a snowfall, dropping to earth at a negative 45-degree angle. Couldn’t see the walkway, sidewalks, or street in all the whiteness, and both cars in the driveway long surrendered to a hefty coating.

The wife and Little One were still asleep, or at least upstairs, so Patch and I made a nest of blankets and pillows on the living room floor. We watched Spielberg’s CGI The BFG, an adaptation of a Roald Dahl (Patch’s favorite author) tale about a little orphan girl who befriends a gentle giant. It was okay, though being about minus-three hours sleep deprived I had trouble keeping my eyes open for varying stretches.

By 9 the movie was over and the rest of the household bumbled along in the kitchen. I went back upstairs and dozed for two hours. Came down, had some leftovers for lunch, noted another three or four inches had fallen, and also noted the girls assembling their snow gear for an expedition into the arctic back yard.

I latched up my boots, zipped up the snorkel, secured my hat and gloves, and opened the front door at 1:30. Had to push it, rather hard, as snow had breezed up a foot-high foothold against it. There was a lull in the storm and I decided to attempt a clean up now instead of later as I originally planned. (The wife: “The snow’ll get heavier the longer it sits out there!” Whether this is true or not, I haven’t any idea.)

Ninety minute later I shoveled out the porch, the walkway, the sidewalk, the cars, the driveway, and the driveway apron. I had the ingenious idea of parking my car out on the street right in front of the apron, so when the town snow plows came by they wouldn’t dump all the slush back in I had just excavated. And sure enough, not ten minutes after I did so, a snow plow rumbled by, slowed by my car, and zig-zagged around, the driving tossing me a sour look as he plowed on by, unable to redeposit snow back into my driveway.

One of the more unpleasant winter tasks I have is shoveling the snow off the garage roof. My garage roof is flat. Its dimensions are something like ten feet by twenty. So there was 200 cubic feet of snow resting atop it, 200 cubic feet of snow which weighs something like 3,000 pounds, if the Internet is anywhere accurate. (Abraham Lincoln is often quoted as saying you can believe anything you read on the Internet.) I have nightmares of the entire structure collapsing, so every snowfall of more than a couple inches I go out the bedroom door and shovel the snow off the roof, which is about ten feet off the ground.

I haven’t fallen off yet.

I did notice the little ones playing in the backyard, so I had to hurl shovels-full of wet sloppy snow down upon them. Had to. The temptation was too great. But they loved it.

Afterwards, dry and warm inside, we booted Patch to the upstairs while Little One and I watched James Cameron’s Aliens. Yes, her science fiction education continues. One of my top-ten all-time science fiction movies (along with Alien). I want her to understand how different the two movies are despite having the same source material so to speak, and how each is a classic defining-moment of the genre it created (horror SF vs. action SF). She seemed to enjoy it, but man were there more F-bombs than I seemed to remember.

The wife made us some beef over noodles bathed in gravy – is there any better wintertime meal, ever? – and the girls finished the night with some last minute chores. I went down to the basement, studied some tax problems I’ve been working on, then soaked in a hot tub (to alleviate a throbbing back) reading a couple of books.

Ended snow day around 11:30, a half-hour later than I wanted, and was asleep minutes after hitting the pillow.

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