Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jack Frost ... the Little Beast

Around 1:30 the snow changed over to rain. The problem is that six inches of snow followed by a steady, driving rain results in three inches of heavy slush. It's a mess, and after dark, when the temperatures drop, the slush turns to ice.

Shoveling snow can be hard. Shoveling slush is incredibly difficult. Shoveling slush turned to ice is all, but, impossible.

I knew that I couldn't just wait until Deus Ex Machina got home. I had to shovel the drive-way and especially at then end where the snowplow had left the iceberg-sized blocks of snow. Gotta love that plow!

The wind was blowing outside, and although the little wooden weight that attaches to the string attached to the striker between the music tubes fell off last year, my wind chimes were singing whenever the wind gusted particularly fiercely. Hanging where they are just under the eaves, I figured they'd be silenced by ice today, but we haven't had enough snow on the roof yet to melt across the chimes and encase them in ice. Soon enough, I guess.

There's something about being outside on day like today. It's quiet. I live close to one of two major roads that go into my town, and so (especially during the summer) we get a fair amount of traffic. It's usually a pretty steady flow, and the noise has become a sort of under tone in the symphony of our lives. As such, it's absence is heard more than its presence.

On days like today, there is little traffic. Mainers know, when the weather is bad, stay home. The loudest sound was my shovel scraping the surface of the driveway and that forlorn song of the windchimes.

I never felt the rain, and it wasn't until the water from my drenched hair dripped down my nose that I realized I was getting wet. I was wearing one of my fatigue jackets from my enlisted days and a pair of unlined leather Army work gloves. I will say one thing about the military - they may pick the lowest bidder to manufacture the soldiers' clothing, but Army gear sure is rugged. I never felt the rain.

And I only knew the wind was blowing when the trees swished noisely around me, and the wind chime tinked over my head.

I cleared the driveway, as best I could. I had to leave something for Deus Ex Machina ... lest he start to take me for granted ;).

And I also unstuck my wash tub, which I'll bring inside in a day or two.

There's still snow on the ground, and if we don't have any more rain in the next sixteen days, even if the days are sunny and in the 40s, we'll have a white Christmas.

Chances are better, though, that we'll have a day or two more of precipitation in the form of snow. Maybe this time, winter is honest and truly here.

Or, maybe the Universe will melt what's out there, and I'll be given one-more-chance to pick up the toys and tools and store them away before the next "real" snowstorm blows through.

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