Friday: It could always be worse

Valentine’s Day passed fairly quietly and uneventfully.

Suzi and I went to dinner and exchanged cards. It was cold, but that’s all it was.

Unlike five years ago.

The funny thing about the winter of 2014-2015 is that through the end of January, it was pretty benign, like this winter has been so far (knock on wood).

Then it started snowing … and it basically didn’t stop for an entire month. We celebrated Valentine’s Day weekend with … more snow.


We got a fair amount of practice knocking down ice dams that developed in our gutters. The one on the side of our house by the garage was the biggest problem, both because I had to stand on top of a bush to get to it — seven feet of snow fills in the space nicely — and it was causing water to come onto our porch.

No matter how hard I pounded a hammer into the screwdriver I was using to chisel away at it, I wasn’t making any progress … until I hit a spot just right, and that opened up another spot just right, and another spot that opened up just right released a bubble of water behind the ice — the water that was leaking onto the porch.

I must confess, once I got into the groove, blowing that ice out of there was kind of fun.

However, “fun” was not a word uttered much that month. My little snowblower wouldn’t work in much more than six inches of snow, and because we were on a corner, the plow picked up all the snow starting with the previous corner and dumped it directly into the end of our driveway.

Thank goodness the guy across the street had a large snowblower, and that our driveway was short and flat.

It wasn’t great for driving, and I did a lot of work at home that month, but one night, it stopped snowing long enough for me to go to an awards ceremony. It was warm enough to actually be raining, and I slept better than I had in weeks.

The next morning, I woke up to my father-in-law, who was staying with us to help out, collecting water in a trash can from a hole he had drilled in the ceiling. There was another one in the kitchen.

Although I later found out other people had it much worse — people I worked with lost entire walls — I freaked out.

It turns out that the rain that had relaxed me the night before was actually the culprit. We discovered that there was a small hole in the siding where the roof of the porch met the side of the house, and the rain came in through that hole.

Fortunately, it was an easy fix. We found a small, flat piece of wood in the basement, put it over the hole and used a clamp to put it into place.

Now, five years later, and living in a different house, we can mostly laugh at it while hoping with all our might that nothing like it ever happens again.

Eventually, the snow stopped, and even though I thought it was going to still be there in July — and at the snow pile Boston built to hold it, that’s how long it lasted — it actually melted fairly quickly once the sun came out and it got a little warmer.

One day, Suzi got home from work later than I did, and she asked me if I had knocked down the icicles on the front of our house, because it wasn’t there anymore. That was weird, since I hadn’t opened that door in weeks because of all the snow and there was no place where I could even stand all that well.

So it was quite a surprise to look out there and find a giant hunk of ice sitting in the yard. What had happened was that in the spots on the roof where the snow had melted, the sun warmed the exposed shingles, causing the underside of the ice to melt.

Once there was nothing holding the ice to the roof … down came the ice.

Now, five years later, and living in a different house, we can mostly laugh at it while hoping with all our might that nothing like it ever happens again.

Suzi took the picture above of the pesky ice dam over our front porch.

To see the previous days of my project to write a story from each day this week —

Sunday: Lunch with friends

Monday: Greetings from the post office

Tuesday: Ugh … just ugh

Wednesday: Still trying to figure it out

Thursday: Suzi’s culinary adventures



7 thoughts on “Friday: It could always be worse

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