I’m So Ready for This Thaw

I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for a thaw like the one that is now settling into Vermont.

A woman takes her chances walking on the ice of Lake Champlain at Burlington, Vermont's waterfront Thursday, despite a thaw that set in.

It hasn’t even been nearly the harshest winter I can remember, but the deep, persistent snow has left me dispirirted and feeling claustrophobic.

Plus, I am chomping at the bit to get going on grandiose gardening and landscaping improvements around my house in St. Albans, Vermont. I want to do it. NOW!

I have no illusions that a couple days of warmish weather will get rid of the thigh-deep snow around my house. There will be plenty left by the time the temperature crashes to well below freezing Saturday morning.

But a man can dream, can’t he?  Who knows, if I get lucky, maybe I can get tiny bits and pieces of work done. I noticed this morning the warming February sun is eroding the snow on the south sides of my house and shed.

It was nice enough for dining al fresco at lunchtime in Burlington, Vermont Thursday, but a lot more snow is going to have to melt here before that's possible.

Maybe, just maybe I can take up a little bit of sod  in those spots that I will replace with flower beds.

I’m going to refurbish the deck in the front of my house this spring or summer and get rid of an ugly railing on it. I noticed this morning part of the doomed railing is leaning, damaged by the heavy snow.  The snow actually gave me a bit of a break, and will make it easier to remove the railing. Maybe I can do it Saturday, if enough snow around the railing melts by then.

It’s surely too much to ask for enough snow to melt by Friday in a woodsy area between the house and road where I can start removing a tangle of brush, dead trees and shrubs, leaving behind some healthy trees.  That will have to wait.

But just the fact we’re having a thaw is something to celebrate. A couple weeks ago, just after that thundersnow we got, I was talking to my 90 year old dad. He said when he was little, the old timers would say thundersnow would mean winter’s back was about to be broken.

Dad had a point. Things started getting a bit less harsh several days after the thundersnow.

Now the thaw is settling in. It’s off to a good start. It’s unexpectedly sunny today,   which is great, because the sun will really start to chew up snowbanks and snow on south facing slopes.

The sight of snow and ice melting into storm drains in this thaw is a thing of beauty.

It’s supposed to get foggy tonight, and that’s good. Fog eats snow. It might get into the low 50s tomorrow. That’ll surely quicken the thaw.

It’s funny how a long-anticipated thaw makes ugly things seem beautiful. I love the gurgling sound of meltwater flowing into storm drains. I love the filthy pools of water oozing away from the fading, dirty snowbanks like blood from a murder victim.

I know this is just a quick break, and more winter is on the way. It’s supposed to snow Sunday night. Temperatures will be back below zero next week. But we’re getting toward the end of February. It will warm up again. Even if all the snow we’ve lost gets replaced, at least we don’t have to deal with the snow we had before this thaw.

Soon enough, I’ll be digging up dirt, getting myself all muddy, sweaty and injured with the gardening. In other words, I’ll be in Nirvana.

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