Monday, December 29, 2008

The Big Melt

Outside my window today are brown lawns and clear streets and bare rooftops. Only a few bumps and rims of snow and a couple of patches of ice remain from the deep white blanket I saw from the same vantage exactly a week earlier. The change seemed spring-like, but I'm under no illusions that winter has somehow softened. Plenty more of it lies ahead. Still, it's remarkable that a couple of rainy days above freezing can erase about three weeks of snowy buildup.

Christmas Eve was quite cold, single digits, but Christmas itself and then Boxing Day saw rising temperatures and a lot of meltage. The evening of the 26th was as foggy a night as I've seen in years, with temps above freezing, and the drip of melting snow from every direction. At times like that, a house is mainly a system for keeping its occupants and their stuff dry.

Soon after midnight on the 27th, a thunderstorm rolled through. At about 4 a.m., during a drizzly lull, I woke up and took the opportunity to check two critical drains located near the house to make sure they were actually draining. More than once during my occupancy of this house, I've had to clear away debris from one or the other of these drains, and the job is at its worst in winter. Luckily, they were handling all the rain and melting snow as they should, keeping water away from the house. Even at that early hour, I was amazed at how much snow was gone. Continued rains on Saturday, a day just like March or April, polished off most of the rest of it.


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