Monday, January 27, 2014

There Have Been Some Shortages - Reprise

Last week, hardware stores began running low on snow removal supplies and by the time the last storm was over, they were pretty much out.  There wasn't a roof rake, snow shovel, or box of hockey puck salt tabs to be found anywhere, not to mention snow blowers. When Home Depot is sold out of a big ticket seasonal staple like a snow blower, you know you're having a serious winter.

The good news is, I have found a way to reuse our sock singles! In a fit of DIY, I asked Raj to rummage through his sock drawer for singles and worn out socks while I bustled off to the hardware store for a bag of calcium chloride.  Raj managed to produce 19 socks and I filled them each with a fist-sized portion of the stuff.  We raked the roofs and flung the sock bombs strategically which means aiming for just behind the bigger icicles. The sock bombs are so much better than the hockey pucks in terms of placement; the downside is, in the spring we will have 19 filthy socks sitting on our roofs like dead things the cats might drag in to our bedroom.

Everyone, at this point, except those who have the great good fortune to live in a perfectly insulated home David & Monique has ice dams, ice cycles, and way too much snow on their roof.  Roofs are collapsing all over New England, while I know of at least one poor man in Worcester who had a heart attack and died while clearing snow from his roof. Even stoic New Englanders are shaking their heads over this hard Wintah - though I still note latent pride beneath their complaints. This Wintah will go down in the record books in terms of snow fall if nothing else, and a legendary winter spawns legendary ...well... legends.


Two days ago I dropped by the hardware store with the wild idea that they might have a snow rake or two I could drag back to The Fahm. The entry area was crowded with people gathered around a giant cart filled with boxes of hockey puck tabs, just in. One woman was juggling her toddler daughter, a shopping cart, two buckets of tabs, and a giant...wait...what is that? AN ELECTRIC SNOW SHOVEL?  

I didn't actually use my elbows to force my way through the crowd and stake my claim on the last electric snow shovel in Worcester County but I may have put on a little of my Crazy Face, which works better anyway. I put my arm possessively around my new best shovel friend, two-stepped over to the salt cart, and using perfect restraint, took only one bucket.  By this time there were fewer than ten buckets left when moments before there had been nearly forty.

I arrived back at The Fahm just in time to find Raj in crisis mode dealing with a DAM LEAK in the kitchen.  He was in the process of hooking up a hose to the hot water tab in the laundry room; by the time I had on the requisite layers for working outside, he had the hose out the kitchen window and was enveloped in steam, drilling a tunnel in the ice.  I started out to join him but after stepping through the snow up to my thighs three or four times, I went back to the Coal Room, put on my snow shoes, and tried again.

I took my turn making dam tunnels and other than alternately freezing and scalding my hands, it was actually kind of fun.  We put four tunnels in, right through the largest icicles, and within minutes the leak stopped. We tossed salty pucks up, brought the hose in, mopped up the floor, and called it a day.

Today another storm is due, with the possibility of an additional 4 - 6" of snow on the ground before it passes through.