February 20, 2007
Snow and ice
One of the fun things about living in Snowstorm Region is that after a blizzard, we have lots of snow to play with. Plows push snow off roads into high banks, and our long hilly driveway, with its tall white sides looks more like a luge run than a driveway. For kids, the snow means an endless supply of building material for forts. Snow forts here include tunnels to crawl through, cave-like rooms where you can store snowballs, and big walls of snow for defense. My teenagers like to build a snow ramp up against the house, with a jump in the middle of the front yard. When the temperatures get warmer and the snow gets that melty texture, it'll be good for snow people and other artistic expressions.
Of course, the snow can be a curse too. Even though most roofs here are pitched pretty steep, the snow gathers on them, and the weight of wet snow can be overwhelming. One of my students spend last week's blizzard working on top of the ridiculously big sports facility at Snowstorm University, a big dome-like structure that could collapse under too much snow. College students who couldn't afford to turn down the money (that is, students from Small Green, where I work) spent several long nights climbing around on the Dome with fire hoses, spraying the snow to melt it. It was both exciting and scary, my student told us, to be up higher than even the tallest dorm on campus, in gale force wind, trying to maneuver fire hoses in the dark, knowing that you could slide off the edge to your death. "My mother isn't crazy about me doing it," he admitted.
Some homeowners shovel their roofs, but my husband and I have long since decided that we don't want to send a pack of crazy teenagers up onto an icy two-story roof; I would rather take the risk of damaging the house. The sun, eventually, will melt the snow, creating spectacular icicles along the edges of the roof. On the first sunny day, when the storm clouds cleared and the sky was again some shade of blue, I looked out at the world through a layer of ice.
Posted by jo(e)