Shovelin’ Up a Storm

New England is known for its fickle weather, so this winter’s dousing us with a power-killing snowfall on Thanksgiving, but skipping over December entirely wasn’t that odd. January didn’t have much to add, but February was brutal.

My thumb was still in a restrictive splint until about the third week, but once released, I went back to work. Not woodturning. I got to work shoveling snow from here, there, and everywhere!

Gratefully, I was able to extract the snow blower from a stuffed garage, and got it to work clearing the long driveway (instead of me paying nearly $50 a pop to a guy with a big plow).

When news stories kept mentioning roofs caving in nearby, I became concerned. Never before had I been on my roof, so to start with, I stood beside it on a ladder with the garden hoe, and pulled off as much snow as I could reach.

When that option got tedious, I finagled a tool to attack the edges elsewhere around the house. With a vision from a YouTube video, I found some material scraps in the basement and fashioned this gizmo I call the Slice & Slide.

It worked fairly well, especially after I cut and bent and attached a metal bean can along the handle, which would fracture the falling blocks of snow so they didn’t (always) hit me in the face!

Eventually I couldn’t avoid the necessity of climbing atop the roof itself, as the bathroom vent was within 4″ of being covered by the next snowfall. Figuring that would be bad, I climbed up the ladder with my snow shovel, brought along a big sheet of plastic to anchor at the lip (and stretch up the slope) onto which I tossed my shovels full of snow. That worked wonderfully well to shuttle the “white sh*t” (as my dad used to call it) off the roof and down to the ground, where it proceeded to bury the ladder.

Which I didn’t mind, because, after that long-though-pleasantly-sunny afternoon, I do not look forward to a repeat appearance!

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