Canada. Winter. They’re synonymous.
Here in Maritime Canada, we had our first big snow fall last Wednesday. 15 cm worth (6 inches for anyone not on metric units). It was enough to cancel school. At about 10 am the skies cleared and it was a beautiful, gorgeous day.
It was one of those kinds of days where you almost don’t need a coat. Even if you are out shoveling snow. One of those kinds of days when the snow is perfect for rolling into giant snowballs. Perhaps for a snowman?
Nope. Not in my backyard.
We go big. Igloo big.
Like a good relationship, like a strong building, an igloo starts with a solid foundation. I start rolling snowballs and I roll them until I can’t roll them any more. If I’m lucky, I can time the end of the roll so the ball is precisely where it needs to be to complete a circle of ginormous snowballs. Balls big enough to make Frosty jealous.
Except, when I decided to “go igloo big” I went too big. This igloo was on par to be a mansion. An estate. Rival the White House itself. So we scaled it down a bit to country cottage size.
It’s still big. But, like I keep telling Crash these days, “If you’re going to do something, do it right so you don’t have to do it again.”
Unfortunately, our perfect snow only lasted so long. After a few hours of rolling snow, the snow started to dry, freeze, and not stick together. That’s when I got a clever idea (they don’t happen often). I got the cooler, filled it with snow, packed it down nice and tight, flipped it over, and out slid a mostly rectangular block of snow. However, even with cleverly shaped blocks, the third layer collapsed not once, but twice.
Knowing the future can work to your advantage. We knew another storm was coming Saturday. So we put our igloo on hold, crossing our fingers that
A) it didn’t completely collapse before Saturday and
B) that Saturday’s snow would be good for building igloos.
That storm came Saturday evening and it came with a vengeance. We woke Sunday morning to 25-30 cm (a foot) of snow. Imagine shoveling snow for 2 hours with your significant other just to clear your driveway! We loved it. Lazy arses Crash and Bang stayed inside drinking hot chocolate and not killing each other.
After we shovelled, Crash and Bang joined us. They did the “Neste Plunge” off the picnic table and cleared some snow from in front of the igloo. DW and I resumed work on our estate. Block by block. Not quite as easy as Lego, but it worked. Finally, the fifth layer closed in the roof. It’s tall enough for DW and I to stand up in together. It’s long enough for us to lay down, too.
The next step will be to build the tunnel door. That’ll be a cinch with our new building blocks. The last step will be to throw snow on top of it to close in the little gaps. Solidify it. Bolster it. It’s the first time we’ve built an igloo at the start of winter. Like the electric blanket on our bed, here’s to hoping it lasts all winter!
*Side note – Crawling into a preheated bed on a cold, blustery, winter night is akin to putting on clothing straight from the dryer.
Here is an excellent page all about igloos. Have you ever built one?