The Vermont Snow Slog

These are the days of whines and cold noses in Vermont.

By February, the novelty of cold and deep snow has worn off, and the month has turned into a slog for us with seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel.

One of many winter hazards. This snow was about to slide off a roof and onto unsuspecting pedestrians in Burlington, Vermont Monday.

It truly is a whiny month. After all, this is Vermont. It’s February. There’s Arctic air and snow that’s practically up to our armpits. What do you expect?

Still, we, I, complain. The daily routine of putting on layers of clothes, struggling because you’re already late and  can’t get the sleeve of your coat over your three sweaters, has gotten very old.

The aches and pains have settled in from hefting the ever falling snow into higher and higher piles. A backache is a permanent condition in February.

You feel like next time you fling a shovel full of snow to the top of the giant piles, your arm will fly off with the snow and you won’t find it until the snow melts in the end of March.

Or April. Do I hear May?

It feels claustrophobic. No shortcuts across the lawn because there’s waist deep snow. Sidewalks are treacherous little canyons, and you’re hemmed in by walls of snow on either side.

A slab of snow hanging over the side of a roof in Burlington, Vermont Monday. I'd hate to be under it when it lets go.

There’s more work to do. You’ve got to snowshoe out to the shed and retrieve the ladder you foolishly left there when there was no snow and it was easier to get there.

You need the ladder because the snow is piled high on the roof. If this keeps up, the roof will collapse and I’ll then be able to make snow angels in the bedroom and a nice snowman in the living room, positioned so he can watch televised snowboarding championships. So it’s time to shovel the roof.

The question is, where do you put the snow that you shovel off the roof? There’s already high piles by the front door, you can’t push the snow there. So you walk it to the sides of the roof and dump it there, to make more big snowbanks that will grace the lawn well into spring.

Snow slid off this Burlington, Vermont roof in the last couple of days and took part of the roof with it.

Yesterday, the temperature briefly rose above freezing. You look at the glass as half full at that point, even though doing so is pathetic. You think the tiny bit of snow that melted is that much less you’ll have to get rid of come March and April.

Never mind that less than an inch melted, and overnight, you got another three inches of snow to more than replace whatever was lost yesterday.

All that slush you walked through yesterday, soaking your feet, will freeze solid as temperatures crash toward zero today. Those deep footprints in the snow will freeze in place, making so many ankle turning ruts on the paths that will leave you hobbling for months, even when it’s time to mow the lawn in the summer.

In the great scheme of complaints, the winter frustration is nothing. People are dying of wars, poverty, incurable diseases and all kinds of horrible things.

So putting up with piles of snow and frigid air is nothing. Still, you want to wave a magic wand, making it all go away, and enjoy the freedom of snow-free living.

The dream makes the prospect of mud season seem like a trip to St. Lucia.


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One Response to “The Vermont Snow Slog”

  1. gary rith Says:


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