Saturday 22 December 2007

shovelling the cottage roof

Anticipating rain or freezing rain on a roof that dates from 1962, covered in a layer of thigh-deep snow, I decided I had to get the snow off. This is a Muskoka ritual, methinks. The wind was beginning to pick up. It was pretty grey in the distance. The clouds from the west usually bring precipitation. It was a fresh smell in the air. Good to get out and do something useful.

Unfortunately, I really don't know the best way to do do a roof. know many hire themselves out, stronger men with little fear of heights. With an aging back, I tried the big shovel that would push it off the roof, but since there was a knee-deep layer of snow on top of 5 cm of solid ice, the tool was useless. I didn't have the strength. I had moved 4 m piles of dirt in the summer, but it had been a while since I had done such labour.

I had to go at it a layer at a time.
I managed to shovel it off on one side, making myself a soft landing pad in case it got too slippery or I lost my footing.

After an hour of work, I sought help. Hubby, with two wonky disks in his back was not a candidate.

How about the cat? She was happy to supervise, but not inclined to pick up a shovel. She checked out the balcony, making sure she could get up there. All was well, but she disappeared under the cottage to look for mice.

The blue jays and mourning doves, while quite content to eat the bird seed I put out on a daily basis, were too busy to help. "Not mine! Nothing to do with me!" they all chorused.

"I have to eat and keep up my figure." mourned the dove.

I was on my own. Two hours later, after special delivery of water, removing a layer of clothes, wearing only my Long Lake fleece I had given my dad two Christmases ago. Feeling the wind pick up, evaporating the sweat off my back, and feeling quite damp and cold, I quit. Most of it is done, but I konked out. After a hot bath, and a hot toddy, I felt much better. It was time for a silly Christmas movie, lounging in the easy chair, then I opened an early Christmas present: a beautifully wrapped box of Belgian chocolates and felt even better.

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