Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Just Another Day in Paradise

Mr. Helen was born and raised right where we live.  He left for a while but always planned on coming back one day... at least by retirement.  Lucky for me, his life circumstances brought him back many years ago and provided me with a wonderful husband because I do not know what I would do if I had to deal with this winter by myself.

At the end of last week forecasters were already predicting the storm that we are currently under.  Actually more than 100 million people are being affected by this storm.  This one is a one-two punch today and tomorrow.  The problem is that tomorrow is supposed to be an ice storm.  Ice on top of several feet of snow is a very bad thing.  As it is, roofs have been collapsing all over the place and all of last week, emergency management personnel were recommending removing snow off of flat roofs and decks. 

I suppose one of the really good things about our home is that it is a New England Colonial with pretty steeply pitched roofs.  If it warms up at all, the snow usually slides off it.   We haven't had much of a warmup here but still our roof has not been as bad as some we've seen around town.

You can only imagine my surprise then when I was cleaning the bathroom on our 3rd level last Saturday and thought I saw something moving just below my eye level.  My first thought was that it was a bird about to dive bomb the bathroom window.  So I openend the shutters and this is what I saw (all pics are clickable to make them bigger):

 I thought, "What the heck is he doing?  Oh, no, you've got to be kidding me!" (That's our garage, which does not have a steeply pitched roof)

"Oh geez.  I hope he doesn't fall!  I wonder if that ladder is secure?"

"OK, I'm not going to look anymore."  So then I went on cleaning upstairs.  But he didn't come in, so I checked again.

"That looks like he's going higher?  What the HECK IS HE DOING!"  I tried to rap on the window to get his attention but of course he had his iPod blasting.

So then I went outside and yelled and jumped up and down until he noticed me.  When I protested what he was doing his response was that at least if he fell, it would be into the four feet of snow on the patio.  Sigh.
I went back in and decided I would not watch.  People, it was like a bad accident, I couldn't look away! So I'd clean a little, then I would go back upstairs to the window in the hallway and check to see what he was doing.  (I also changed from my iPhone camera to my real camera lol!)

I have to admit, I like the action in this next shot... look a bit to the right and you can see the snow he just threw in mid-air.

OK, he's almost done, and I'm done cleaning.  He hasn't fallen yet so let me get in the shower.

"Let me check one more time..."  When I first looked he was standing on the peak of the roof surveying his kingdom, but just as I lifted the camera...

Hahahahahaha he caught me - had no idea I'd been documenting his adventurous afternoon.. When he came inside, he literally spent the rest of the afternoon eating. Just grazing on this that and the other.  Finally I pulled up the Sparkpeople activity tracker online and input his height and weight and the 3 hours of snow shoveling he did to find out that he burned 1.946 calories.  And that was in addition to whatever he'd burned at his two hour martial arts class that morning. (No wonder he doesn't have a weight issue.)

Maybe I should have helped.  But I didn't. So while Mr. Helen ate cake, I booked a vacation.  Granted, we're not going for a while.  But the thought of a bathing suit in my current condition?  *Ahem*  It might be enough to get me to shovel a roof.


  1. 3 hours!? he's a brave man! I can't stand more than 15 mins out in the cold shoveling! lol

  2. Have I mentioned that Mr. H is my hero? My husband wouldn't know how to raise a ladder, let alone climb it. Jewish men don't do manual labor, THIS Jewish woman does! Good luck today, I know you are going to be blasted. (see my post, you got a little mention)

  3. such a great post, loved the action shots! That is a lot of shoveling!

  4. Oh, man. Mr. Helen scares the bejeesus out of me! Of course, I have a serious fear of heights.

    That vacation looks heavenly! I'm sitting here in 50 mph hour wind gust that are just driving the wind chill factor into unheard of depths.

  5. I love these pictures, and you can really get an idea of how many FEET of snow were on the roof once he started digging into it, but methinks you left out the funniest part of the story, Paul Harvey! ;)

  6. That would have scared the hell out of me too! I would have been on the inside watching too though - heights scare me.

    I am hoping for a snow day tomorrow - I want to bake lots of bread!

  7. The vacation site looks heavenly...Calgon, take me away.

    My husband does stuff like that too - climbing on the roof (though we don't have that deep of snow on ours) ...I thought he was going to take a dive while putting up Christmas lights this year.

  8. I am glad you've got a hubby to do those fun chores. I have to check out your link for the vacay. I'm leaving Thursday for mine.

  9. John and I got out and did our front porch roof like that with the new snow expected. The rest of our house has a slate roof, and the snow slides off that in a big cascade once it hits a certain point, which is a little disconcerting to hear from inside.

  10. Wow was his back sore at all - that' a ton of snow to be moving. But pretty scary watching him up there...great pictures though.

    And love the look of where you are going on vacation. Love it and may have to look it as a possible vacation place in the future. I've been wanting to get back over to that side of the world. I hate winter... :)

  11. Around here, we have special tools called "roof rakes" so you don't actually have to get up there. He's a brave man. We're at 40 below windchills and 8 inches of snow with more on it's way tonight and then the temperature is REALLY going to drop out. Have you ever watched "The Day After Tomorrow?" I always think of that movie when I'm out scraping my car in the morning. I envision myself as a female Dennis Quaid.

  12. Your hubby is my hero. Mine would not be on the roof, it would be me. Thank goodness we have steel roofs and the snow slides off. Well most of the time it does, we do take it off the shop when it's heavy. I'm not sure where you live but your view is the same as mine. Lots of snow.
    Visiting from Allan's. Take care and God Bless!!

  13. Amazing photos Helen! I would have reacted the same way you did. I hate it when my hubby gets on the ladder and gets on the roof of our two story house. I think we are too old for such things!

    Did you say vacation? I hope you are going some place warm and sunny. You deserve it!

    I am so glad we no longer live in the snowy Midwest. My mom who lives in NE told me this morning to never move back! No worries, I don't plan on it.

  14. St. Martin looks beautiful, wow, wow, wow!

    I love this adventure recap, the last picture is great!

    I can't believe how much snow you have. I have never seen so much snow here in Holland so can't even imagine how much trouble it's causing.

  15. We've just had a good blast of snow last night here in Ontario - but not enough that we have to shovel the roofs. Cheers, Rick

  16. Oh, Helen! Clicking on that link made me want to just sit and melt on a beach somewhere. Have you been there before or is this an adventure? We received 18 inches of snow between yesterday and today (the 2nd) and have 6 foot drifts in our backyard. Snow Emergency today so my husband and I have been stuck in the house together all day. Thank God we get along!! Just keep thinking of that beach, girl! It will make winter go by so much faster :)

  17. Yeah, I wouldn't have been able to look away either!

    You guys have a ton of snow too!