Thursday, February 07, 2008

Calgon, take me away!

I sit here before you today a broken woman and at the point of surrender. In fact, I'd raise the white flag right now--if I could elevate my arms above my head without excrutiating pain, that is. I'm defeated. Beaten down by frozen flakes of water. B#*ch-slapped by Mother Nature. Again.

And yes, that's my SUV to the left as it appeared yesterday morning in my driveway. Imagine my delight when I opened the door and looked out into a winter freakin' wonderland where only a week ago all signs of winter had gloriously melted away. Sigh. The kids were ecstatic. No school, they celebrated, claiming they would rather shovel a few hours than spend the day in classes. That sentiment quickly evaporated when they saw the depth of the snow to be scooped.

Determined to face my frozen foe, I donned my Michael Myers insulated coveralls, hiking boots, Thinsulate gloves, and stuck a hat on my head. How bad could it really be? I thought as I stepped outside the front door and into three foot drift of snow. That bad. "Wow, come look at the roof, Mom!" my daughter said and I walked out to the end of the driveway and looked back at the house. Big mistake. Why? Here's what I saw:

I stared at the roof for a few minutes before it dawned on me that someone was going to have get up on the roof and shovel the snow off or risk having the roof collapse due to the weight. It took me a couple more minutes before I realized that someone was going to be me.

What the picture doesn't accurately reflect is the fact that it was still snowing and blowing at this time. Now, I'm not a fan of climbing a ladder and crawling onto the roof at any time, but doing it in the middle of winter in the middle of a blizzard with snow up the whazoo--well, you can about imagine the level of my affection for Ma Nature right about then.

But trooper that I am--or rather was--I got the ladder out, got someone to hold it and up I went. And the higher I went, the higher my anxiety got. What if my added weight actually made the roof collapse? What if I slipped off the roof and bashed my skull on the driveway? Did the kids know where my will was? So, instead, I climbed to the top step of the ladder and awkwardly scooped shovel after shovel off the roof.

"HEY!" My son who was holding the ladder yelled. I looked down. He looked like a tall, skinny, white-haired Frosty the Snowman.

I winced. "Sorry," I said.

I scooped until my scooper was pooped out. I descended the ladder and looked at the driveway that was once again full of snow. Two hours later we finished the shoveling out front and had cleared out the garage, sidewalk, and one parking space in the back. When I went back into the house, I had so many icicles hanging from my hair I looked like I had dreadlocks.

Three hours later I went back out for round two of shoveling.

"How's the writing going?" the kids asked as I was flopped on the couch with my blanket in the late afternoon.

If I'd had the strength to throw something at them, I would have.

Score so far? Mother Nature: forty plus inches of snow since December. Bullet Hole: 250 pages written since December. It's a race to the March 15th finish for sure. And there's that obsessive competitive streak of mine to consider. So, I toss my white flag aside.

Surrender? Nah. A trooper never surrenders.

Bring it on, Ma Nature. Bring it on!

~Bullet Hole Bacus~


Christie Craig said...

Yowzy, Kathy.

You must have really ticked Mother Nature off.

I guess now wouldn't be the right time to tell you that two days ago I went for a walk and sweated, I think we got to a sunny 86 degrees. But if it makes you feel any better, we are back down to the 40s today.

Girl, I'm in awe of your strength and ability. And just in case you're wondering I'm on your side. Go Kathy, show Mother Nature what a real Trooper can do!

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...


I think it's going to take more than Calgon. Get your gun out, Kathy.


Kathy Bacus said...

Uh, no, Crime Scene, I don't think hearing you're 'down' in the forties is gonna make me feel much better. We've got almost two months of winter remaining.

But, you're right, I probably would get an inordinate amount of pleasure putting a couple rounds into Mother Nature right about now. No doubt those poor folks in the South who were hit by tornadoes on Tuesday would happily provide the ammo.

~Bullet Hole~

Anonymous said...


Girl, I know what you're going through, believe me. I live in Snow Hell, New York. For the unenlightened, that's a tiny village in the Tug Hill Plateau (we're between Lake Ontario and the Adirondack Mountains.) The Tug Hill Plateau is famous. Wanna know why? We get more annual snowfall of any place east of the Rockies. Last year, we even set state records. My village got something like 100 or so inches of snow in a 10-day period. (Redfield beat us though; they got 144.4 inches.)

Have I mentioned I hate winter?

Faye, thinking spring

Angie Fox said...

Okay, I'm not going to complain about the Missouri snow (at least not to you!).

We had a snowday this past Friday. My daughter (unlike most kids) was really disappointed. She kept saying, "Can't we just go and see if anyone is there?" After the 50th time she asked (Maddie is 3), it didn't sound like a half bad idea.

Kathy Bacus said...

Shoot, Faye, after hearing your snow stats I feel like a whiney little kid. I think the thing that bugs me most (besides the fact that I hate snow) is the frequency of these interminable cloudy days. Good thing I take Vitamin D supplements because I'm sure not getting my daily dose from the sun.

~Bullet Hole who would promise not to whine about winter anymore if she thought she had a snowball's chance where Crime Scene lives to keep that promise~

Anonymous said...

Yikes! That's a lot of snow!!! Still, I think I'd rather deal with that than the tornadoes we had the other day.

Kathy Bacus said...

Although my kids are teenagers, Angie, the reality of interruptions times three can be somewhat...distracting. Still, the extra hands shoveling represented a reasonable trade off.

And I remember when I first started to write seriously and had four wee ones squealing, "Look at me, Mommy! Look at me!" "What can I snack on, Mom?" Or, "Are you STILL writing?" Ah, the good ol' days.


~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

No doubt, Tori. Those storms had to be very scary. I'm always glad I have a basement to go to when we have tornadoes.

And I'm not ashamed to use it.

~Bullet Hole~

Estella said...

The sun is shining here between showers. It is a balmy(compared to your weather) 53 degrees.

Shel said...

Don't jinx us by challenging Mother Nature. I'm so sick of the Chicago winter I could scream! I think I need a tropical vacation...

Kathy Bacus said...

Sun? What's that, Estella?

And you'll laugh. The sun peeked out for a few precious moments and shined directly into my living room and onto my love seat via the large picture window a week or so back. So what did 'sun-starved' Bullet Hole here do? I stretched out on the loveseat like a contented cat and shut my eyes and soaked it in--for ten glorious minutes. Of course my kids thought I was psycho, but what else is new???

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

I've been debating how to spend my tax refund, shel. Get a jumbo-sized snowblower or take the family to Orlando for a heapin' helping of sunshine!

The responsible me says go with the snowblower. The rebel says, Orlando, here we come!

~Bullet Hole~

Gemma Halliday said...

This just confirms my vow never to leave California. Brrrrr! I got cold just reading your post.


Anonymous said...

If I remember the proposed timing right you might want to spend the check on Air conditioning by then.

danetteb said...

And I've been complaining about the rain. :D
The snow does look pretty though.

Kathy Bacus said...

It may not be 'California, here I come' but I'm thinking I'm outta here once my kids are done with college, Gemma. We're a region of extremes. You freeze your buns off in winter only to fry 'em in the summer.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Too true, bookmobiler. Still I can handle the heat better than the cold.

I keep telling myself spring is just around the corner--then we get dumped on again.


~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

The snow would look even prettier in your front yard, Danette! ;)

~Bullet Hole~

Heather said...

I usually don't mind the snow, but this winter has been nuts. We reset the record for second snowiest December and it just keeps coming. Yesterday's blizzard dropped 13.3 inches on us, and now they say we could get several more between Friday and Monday. Which would set a new record for total snowfall in a season. With a few months of winter to go (we've had significant snowfall in May).

I don't think Calgon's gonna do it...

Michele L. said...

we have had a weird winter. Snow one week then rain the next. I live in Northern Indiana close to Lake Michigan.

I bet you are ready for spring,huh?


Jenyfer Matthews said...

Those pictures leave me speechless - and shivering! Wow. That's a lot of snow. I like snow when I lived in Cleveland, but then I lived in an apt and wasn't responsible for shoveling!

The roof? I'm thinking mine would have caved in! I wouldn't have wanted to climb the ladder and no way my hubby would have!

Kathy Bacus said...

These snowfall totals are just unreal, Heather. And traditionally we always seem to get some sort of snow or ice event right around the time of the state high school basketball and wrestling tournaments here.

I'm not sure if I can take six more weeks of winter. Hmm. Maybe I should save a round for Punxsutawney Phil...

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Saying I'm ready for spring is about as much of an understatement as me saying "I like chocolate", Michele. :)

I think everyone in the Midwest is pretty much winter weary. But get this. According to climatologists at the National Weather Service we're under the effects of a la nina pattern which could see us in a drought by summer.

At least I won't have to mow the grass as frequently then.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

I imagine my neighbors were popping popcorn and enjoying the show as I bravely raised my shovel and climbed the ladder to do battle with frozen precipitation, Jenyfer.

I can only hope the snow muted the sound somewhat as I must confess a naughty word or two escaped me once or twice--especially when I almost brought down the cable line...


~Bullet Hole~