Monthly Archives: March 2014
The temperature outside is only 21 f., but the sun is shining, ice is melting off the roof and it sure seems a lot better than last week. We are taking it all (especially the melting ice) as a sign. I’m not saying what that sign is just yet (I don’t want to jinx anything), but this could be “it.”
With as long as winter has lasted here, they’ve had more of it farther north in Paradise, Michigan. We drove to Paradise on Thursday and talked with a few locals. The folks we talked with were all two or three feet more tired of winter than us. And it shows.
The reason for our trip was not just to check the stamina for the good people of Paradise, but to see the Tahquamenon Falls in winter. We turned west at the north end of town and followed M-123 about ten miles farther west to the Upper Falls. It was well worth the drive. Lunch at the brewpub was good too.
In our previous life, I held fast to a philosophy of never shoveling snow after March 1.
It just didn’t make sense. Downstate, when it snows in March, it melts fast and is gone in a day or two. And, to the best of my recollection I only had to compromise my rationalization a couple of times.
There was St. Patrick’s Day 1973 when more than a foot of snow fell overnight. It was still snowing when I woke up that morning to the roar of a snow mobile in front of the duplex. Not a normal street sounds inside the city limits where I lived. It was a day before the street was plowed and it took me about that long to clear the driveway.
The other time was in the mid-nineties. I don’t recall the exact depth, but the snow was piled high enough that my neighbor, a good fifteen years my senior, offered me the use of his snow blower. “My cardiologist says every man over fifty ought to use a snow blower.” he told me, “Just bring it back when you’re done.”
I was only forty-eight at the time, but saw no advantage in putting too fine a point on the issue and accepted his offer.
Of course, things are different here north of the 45th parallel. I know I must remove snow from the driveway in March. But, it was difficult for me, on March 1, to consider removing snow from the roof of our home. I balked at first, but in the end took into account the near record snow fall this winter; the lack of any mid-winter thaw that would have reduced the snow load on the roof; daily temperatures still hovering in the single digits and, of course, the always wise counsel of my wife.
So we hired a couple of guys for the job.
No, I did not attempt the task myself; I am well over fifty and know better. Plus, there was no way I could get my snow blower on the roof. Here a few images of what the process looked like at both houses…
(And I don’t care what happens, I am not shoveling snow in April!)