December 6, 2011 by rebelwithalabelmaker
So, my happiest of happy places to work is our solarium–a little wood and stone room off of Gary and I's bedroom that is all windows with a little fireplace. There is not a lot of light this time of year in my part of the world. Forget that misty town from the Twilight movies, the Cullen family should definitely move to Saskatchewan. Nobody would ever know they were vampires–there's lots of dark to go around. Also, big scarves that wrap around your head a la somebody's-grandma-crocheted-a-mummy-wrap to cover your undead self. We ought to be the undead capital of the world. Who knows, maybe we are. But I digress.
My point is, during the brief period of light in a December day I like to be sitting in the middle of it, thinking I am outside in the Bahamas. Because the sky is always blue here, this works pretty well. Until it snows, which it tends to do in this part of the world. Then my beautiful ceiling of windows gets covered with this hovering grey mass of slushy stuff, and if I wanted to spend December with a dark cloud hovering a few feet above my head all day I would live in Victoria. Yuck. Slushy snow.
So, a few years ago, sitting under my slush tent, I decided enough was enough.
"I'm going to shovel off the roof." I said to Gary, who looked concerned for my health. Very concerned.
"Oh stop worrying." says me. "I can be excited to clean something if I want. That doesn't mean I have a brain tumour."
"Not that," says him, "I just think the roof is a bit slippery for cleaning off at the moment." So we got into a big debate about whether it was a good idea and what is the right time of year to be on the roof and sometimes Gary can be so dense because why would I go on the roof when it is not winter? What would there be to clean then?
Apparently, we have something called eaves troughs. Who knew. But back to important things.
So while we are debating how slippery the roof is or isn't our teenager heads up the stairs. As I am warming up to my key point of even-if-I-do-break-my-neck-this-is-the-best-part-of-the-world-to-be-undead-in, he comes in the back door and says "Yup, the roof is too slippery to be on during the winter."
Which totally derailed my argument. Teenagers can be so selfish with their timing when it comes to falling off the roof. Don't worry–he was fine. Didn't even need to be checked for a brain tumour.
Then I learned something interesting. Turns out, you don't have to clean off the roof. Turns out, if you turn up the fireplace reasonably high, the room warms up and the snow slides right off of the windows. Because guess what? Our roof is very slippery. Who knew.
There's a metaphor for life in there somewhere, I think. About focussing less on clearing off the edges of things and more on building up the centre. Create a big warm hearth fire, and the slush will fall away.
Mostly. There are limits to this approach. Apparently, it works on slush but not on eaves troughs. So perhaps the wisdom is more like "you have to know when to build the fire, know when to climb on the roof…"
I think maybe Kenny Rogers wrote a song about that. I think he used the metaphor of gambling, to talk about winter home maintenance in Saskatchewan–which is a very risky endeavour. There's even a part about knowing when to walk away and knowing when to run. I think he's referring to falling slush when other people are cleaning their rooftops…