My wife is a harsh taskmistress

We have another big snowstorm blowing through, so she’s getting worried. She decides that this morning “we” need to drag out the roof rake and scrape off the heavier accumulations.

“But I’ve got a heart condition,” I said. Usually that’s enough.

Nope. Needs to be done.

I broke out the newest excuse: “But my vestibular instability!”

Didn’t work. She said she’d watch me through the window in case I staggered and fell into a crevasse.

So that’s how I ended up slowly circumnavigating around the house through thigh- and waist-deep snow drifts, wielding a 6- or 7-meter aluminum pole with a metal rake at the end, making snow thump down off the roof, only falling face-first twice, and eventually sinking into a mountain of snow to freeze to death and lie there entombed in ice until the spring. The blog will be on indefinite hiatus.

It’s peaceful in here. Quiet. No computers, no phones. All appetites suspended. Try it, you might like it.


  1. says

    Before you start whining, “but how are you writing this if you’re dead and frozen,” I’ll ask “then how are you reading something written by an icy corpsicle, huh, smartypants?”

  2. says

    We lost the ceiling in the sunroom because of ice dams on the roof, and snow that took months to thaw.

    My brother-in-law up in the UP took action on something on his roof, but he didn’t need a six-foot pole. He stood on a board on top of the snow, which brought him four feet closer to the roof, and just knocked and swept it off.

    My painting teacher took care of her roof without having to climb anything. She put rock salt in mesh bags and threw them up into the gutters. No accumulation at all.

  3. jstackpo says

    Let’s have at least one photo of the task, face DOWN in the snow would be best.

  4. says

    I love my sheet metal roof on my house. It’s a bit louder than asphalt shingles when it rains (I like the sound of the rain!) but when it snows the snow just slides right off, schwoomp. Granted, you don’t want to be standing under the schwoomp when it happens, which is a great excuse not to mess around under the eaves when there’s a lot of snow.

  5. starskeptic says

    If you had told me that you would be “circumnavigating around”, I would have relieved you of the responsibility – on the grounds that you were already having a stroke….

  6. opposablethumbs says

    Also, too, as well – iirc – Happy Birthday PZ!

    “entombed in ice until the spring” is the perfect way to spend a birthday :-)

  7. Owlmirror says

    See, this is what comes of being an atheist.

    If you had just prayed humbly and sincerely to the snow gods, and asked them to bless your snow rake for the solemn and sacred task of helping the snow continue its journey to the soil, you would be rewarded with being embraced and enveloped in a holy white cocoon until the coming of the time of the Hot Cocoa with Marshmallows.

    Instead, you denied, derided, and sneered at the snow gods, and used your snow rake in a blasphemous and sacrilegious way to roughly strike and knock the snow to the dirt. Shocking! Now you’re feeling the wrath of the snow gods as they entomb you! You’ll have to make do with ordinary, mortal hot cocoa with marshmallows, a poor substitute for the divine ambrosia provided by the snow gods.

  8. robro says

    She decides that this morning “we” need to drag out the roof rake and scrape off the heavier accumulations.

    You are either very brave or quite foolish, PZ. If I posted a similar snarky comment about my wife for the world to see, she would have my head…as soon as the snow was cleared of course.

  9. hemidactylus says

    If PZ was a beekeeper instead of a spiderperson he would have plenty of sweetness and light to sustain him in his snowbank til spring thaws. The beewax would go towards his birthday candles (and to read the Classics. Can’t really do much with ephemeral cobwebs (where’s your Science now Dr. Meyers).

  10. nomdeplume says

    When they find your body in a few thousand years, still encased in your leather clothes, weapons in hand, remains of last meal in stomach, a museum could put you on display, alongside Otzi the snowman, as Peze the snowman.

  11. gijoel says

    Come to Australia where you never have to worry about being caught in a snow drift. Your house maybe on fire, or under water, or attacked by vengeful magpies, but absolutely no snow.

  12. Onamission5 says

    Kip@ #2:

    My own technique is to take scoops of rock salt and lob it roofward towards the areas where ice is accumulating in or dripping from the gutters. Not sure that would work in PZ’s case, though.

  13. manymistakes says

    Your not alone; my icy corpsicle app is receiving a lot of transmissions from MN. Be thankful your taskmistress has a window.