Saturday, January 4, 2014

Things I Learned While
Shoveling the Roof Today

1. While climbing a ladder and getting on a snowy/icy roof freaks me out a bit, the climb up feels more secure and stable when the ladder has become a solid, integral part of the roof's ice dam and the snowbank below.

2. Wrestling with deep snow and ice creates enough body heat that, in these temperatures, eyeglasses don't just steam over--they freeze over.

3. I had not added shoveling snow to my get-in-shape plan but, after today, I will. Today was full of aerobic activity and lifting heavy weights.

4. Remember to bring a water bottle and some tissues. I've learned this before, but I can't seem to remember it from one time to the next.

5. When walking backwards up the slope of a roof, be careful not to walk too far (which can put you at risk of flipping backwards over the peak of the roof).

6. Taking a break and listening to all that winter quiet is its own reward. (So is discovering that you sat so long for your break that your pants are now frozen to the roof.)

7. It's not just heating with wood that "warms many times over" (when cutting it, splitting it, stacking it, hauling it, etc.). The shoveling of snow and ice off a roof is not done when the roof is clear. Afterwards, you have to shovel it all again--off the driveway, the walkways, the bulkhead, the deck, the doorstep, etc.

8. The days may be getting longer, but they are still incredibly short! (Exactly 9 hours of daylight today.) If I have something to get done, I better get moving early. Also, that low-lying sun, refracting through the ice-covered trees, can be blinding.

9. Once the job is done, it's best to keep the dancing and back-slapping modest. After all, more snow and freezing rain are forecast to arrive tomorrow.

It's been so cold, not much has come off the trees since the ice storms weeks ago.

Doesn't the JayBee--viewed from this perspective, up on the roof of the house--look like it's a miniature?

Ice damage is everywhere. Many trees will never recover.


  1. You're always posting these awesome pics of the landscape around you. Please be careful on that snowy roof!

  2. Hi DWR! I hope you are keeping warm and cozy this winter.

    Yes, believe me, I know I have to be very careful on the roof. My hope is that, once I'm living in the JayBee, I will never have to shovel off a roof again. Lots of motivation there...especially with the way this winter is proceeding.