This is what happens when you have a snowstorm and you’re shoveling a foot of snow off the deck late in the evening and you realize you’re hungry.
Frozen pipes in Boston!
Cripes, here I am, reporting on our adventures in the tropics—while here in the Boston area, it is now -10 degrees Fahrenheit, and windy! (Real feel -41!) So much for our unseasonably warm weather. Unbeknownst to me, two windows in our basement had blown open, and the whole basement was a deep freeze. It was about 1 a.m. when I noticed no water from the faucet and went running down to discover this.
Two hours later, after screwing the windows shut, setting up space heaters, and running a heat gun over the pipes near where they come into the house, we have water flowing again in most of the taps (still just a trickle in the kitchen faucet). Thank God, we seem to have escaped without any burst pipes. Wow. Let this still be true in the morning. We gonna leave those taps trickling right through the night.
Next day: Everything good, sort of. The kitchen faucet wasn’t frozen; it was blocked by a slug of grit that must have been sent up the pipes when things released. Which probably also explains the slow-filling toilet tank, which I’ll have to look at tomorrow. And the water meter is dripping into the frozen sump area, so I’ll need to call the water department as soon as they’re open. But no burst pipes!
Doesn’t look like much, but it was six inches of wet, gluey, sludgy, icy snow to move. It’s what I spent a good part of the day doing.
The Ponce Chronicles will resume tomorrow. Assuming we don’t get more of the same.
Here’s kind of an eerie view that I got while walking Captain Jack in the evening. The trees were cloaked with heavy layers of snow, a little unnerving to walk under.
Yesterday I looked down from my third-floor office window and realized that the back side of our garage was just as heavily laden with snow as the side I’d laboriously cleared the other day. My camera arm wasn’t long enough to show it, but here I am literally standing in snow up to my waist, in the backyard neighbor’s yard, raking at the roof. The word roof-rake wasn’t even in my vocabulary a year ago!
Today the temperature is 37 degrees, and things are finally melting!
It’s gonna get cold again real soon. Subzero low predicted for Monday night. Some days I feel as if I’m living on one of those alien worlds I write about.
What with all the warnings (and news reports) about roofs collapsing under the weight of all the snow we’ve received this month, I finally decided it was time to do something about this huge snow cap on our garage roof. It has compressed down and hardened over the last week or two—and they are predicting wet snow or “wintry mix” this weekend. That’s a lot of weight on aging timbers.
Armed with our new roof rake from Ace Is the Place, we set to work. First, I had to carve something resembling a path to a point in the back yard from which we could work. This meant using the snow blower to tunnel into the mountain ridge that walls the Valley of the Snowba. Good news! My new carburetor arrived from China yesterday, and the old Snowba runs like a new machine now! Let’s hear it for Chinese manufacturing! (Actually, I spent about an hour trying to MacGyver a choke control, because the choke assembly on the new carb does not even remotely match the one on the old carb. Finally I gave up and tried starting it with no choke at all. It blasted off on the first pull!)
Anyway, here’s what it all looked like. I spent 2-3 hours out there, and let me tell you, I was ready for some brandy in my coffee when I got back inside.
Click any picture to biggify.
|The sand worm passes|
|A neighbor’s collection of shovels|
|The Valley of the Snowba|
It is to laugh. Today’s storm was, in some ways, more challenging than Blizzard Juno. We got about a foot and a half of snow, which was a good workout. The hard part was finding a place to put the stuff. It was pretty, though! And with the town-wide parking ban, we were happily free of all the commuters who usually park up and down our street and walk to the T.
I tried a Hail Mary pass on the snow blower, tweaking a couple of things in hopes of getting it running—and it started! And ran! It didn’t run well, exactly, but it ran well enough to do what I needed it to do. There was rejoicing all around. (My new carburetor is somewhere en route from China. Probably sunning itself on Guam.)
I took these pix after dark, and the flash flare against the still-falling snow was pretty intense. (Just like J.J. Abrams with lens flare in Star Trek: Into Darkness.) The first one came out pretty well as abstract art, I thought. But what I was really trying to get was the rising walls of snow, turning the walkways into deepening canyons.I like the blue light from the tree glowing off the snow ridge in the second one.