Tuesday, February 07, 2006


SNOW ON THE ROOF


Only two days after Lunar Spring and already the whole countryside is giving up the snowghost. Late yesterday evening the snow that had been falling steadily all day changed to rain, which began melting the snow everywhere, most notably on our roof. As I was reading in the afternoon the cold white stuff up there began to break apart; each big slab would surrender its integrity, slide clacking down the ceramic roof tiles till it reached the edge, and fall onto the lower eaves, each cascade turning the whole house into a big snowdrum. Then, laced with icicles, it tumbled the rest of the way in a tinkling hiss to the ground, compacting the pile already there.

Perhaps the most amazing thing in all this was how much snow can fit on a roof. It is 1 a.m. as I write this, and the snow (now with some ice beneath it) that has been clinging to the higher places on the roof and is the last to go does not want to, and by virtue of its under-ice need not travel all that precipitately; plainly uncooperative, it is nudged slowly downward by the rain runneling beneath it, the maybe 50-pound slabs begrudging down the ceramic rooftiles a foot or two at a time until they can grab hold again and so rumble along in stops and starts, resounding like thick slate slabs over cobbles, all the way down to the roof edge then crashing to the ground. The thing is, I sleep just a few feet beneath that roof, and that's a long way to listen to ice slide right above your head. Each time I think: surely this is the last slab; there couldn't be any more snow up there. I've been thinking that since 5 p.m. That's how much snow there can be on a roof.

Normally none of this would bother me; I'd be sound asleep and not hear a thing. But because of this cold that's been trying to get me for the past week or so, I napped a couple of times today and my sleep is cruelly lighter. As to the what the kids have to do with all this (haven't I mentioned them?), whenever the littlies come to visit I get exposed to all the microbial cutting-edge stuff that's wafting around the viral kingdom's Kiddy Laboratory, sort of a full-time pathogenic Expo, in which I fully and gleefully participate. Blowing up the kids' balloons again for them, sharing cookies, wiping runny noses, getting sneezed at and coughed upon with loving abandon and all the other kid-vectors that crafty viruses take advantage of, within a day or two of the kids' initial visit I'm feeling a twinge in the gut, a quirk in a lung, a tweak in the nose, a croak in the throat, a rock in the head and such like minor warnings, and must begin my usual multi-fronted campaign against the various sieges under way, from most of which I emerge victorious, though battered; then comes the next onslaught. As this indicates, a great part of grandfatherhood is taken up by preparation and recuperation. Bed rest is big.

There: surely that was the last slab of snow...

4 comments:

Joy Des Jardins said...

Grandparenthood is not for sissies...it's tough out there. Since it's impossible to NOT keep coming back for more, we have to be vigilant. Preparation and recuperation...you're absolutely right Robert. Stay well....

Robert Brady said...

Thanks, Joy... Now that the kidlings' visit is over, though I miss them, I can feel my health stealing back...

frida said...

I call my grandsons the bacteria boys and stock up on lysol wipes before they come. It's karma, I guess, because my mother often had to check into the hospital after a visit with my own kids. I love your site and the description of the snow.

Robert Brady said...

Thanks, Frida, I love the snow too, but hopefully it will all soon be flowers...