Chipping Ice


If you look at the forecast for the week, you can deduce that our driveways, sidewalks and streets will be slushy messes and possibly bone dry by the week's end.  But for the Canadian male (and some eager females), a week is way too far away, and at the first sign of melting (which occurred on Saturday) we emerged from our man caves armed with ice scrapers and hearty shovels intent on accelerating the onset of spring.

I speak from experience on this theme, as I love nothing better than getting outside (without the winter coat), and moving around looking busy in the sunshine.  Multi-layered and super-packed ruts in the driveway suddenly demonstrate a little give and with some forceful coaxing, begin to break apart revealing the concrete below.  After the never-ending winter of our discontent (poorly placed Shakespearean reference - Richard III), getting down to the cracked and dirty concrete is akin to striking gold.

The melt starts with a sultry sheen on the snow, as it begins to warm up and melt.  Then, small rivulets of water start appearing, especially when the sun breaks through the clouds, as it did a number of times over the weekend.

In fervent hope of giving the water somewhere to go, one of the first orders of business for the Canadian male during these exciting hours, is to strategically chip the ice away to create channels that lead to the nearing storm drain.  The thinking, of course, being that if you help the water find its destination more easily, we'll be cutting the grass sooner.  It's ludicrous really, but absolutely impossible to resist.

Heather got home from two full days of yoga teacher training. Despite her understandable exhaustion, her eyes lit up when she saw the sun, the melting, and the damage done by me and the ice chipper over the course of two afternoons.  She couldn't resist either.

I grabbed the shovel to remove some of the detritus that I had calved away from the glacial banks, and she grabbed the ice scraper and began excavation efforts to find the storm drain, solidly sealed from what has been the coldest winter we've seen in a long time.

This is a spring ritual that happens every year at our home on Demers Drive.  Soon, the melt will go from a slow trickle to a steady stream.  The first blades of grass will begin to appear.  And before you know it, the spring bulbs will pop out of the flower beds, giving us the thumbs up that winter is mostly, if not completely, over.

Thanks be to God!

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