Surviving Winter

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.IMG_4720

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?

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33 thoughts on “Surviving Winter

  1. I think it is mandatory to build one if you live in Canada. I did see a video once, it took a guy 10 minutes to cut the blocks out of the hard packed snow and build himself a little fortress. 10 minutes! We are like turtles in comparison.

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  2. As I sit here watching the storm outside my front window this reminds me of my childhood! My kids haven’t built an igloo in years. Maybe it is time to convince them to go out and start one! Lol.

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  3. The igloos pics are amazing! Looks like so much fun! Where I live we have NEVER had enough snow to do an igloo. If have enough for a descent snowman every couple of years we are lucky.

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    • It’s a pretty big igloo. And it was downsized by about 3 feet. The drift the snowplow left at the bottom of our driveway was up to our shoulders (as you can in the pic of DW). It was a lot of snow! If only I could pack it up and send it to everyone who doesn’t get snow!

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  4. Wow! I don’t think we’d get enough snow in our yard throughout the entire winter to build that. That looks really awesome! (And sounds like quite the workout.)

    We had our first snow on Sunday. Nice big, fat snowflakes for about an hour. Nothing stuck, but it was sure pretty to look at.

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    • We get as much in storm as you get all winter? 😀 It’s pretty cool (frozen, technically). It was a lot of work, but totally worth it.

      There’s a saying that goes “big flakes = little snow. Little flakes = big snow. While big flakes are nice, I love the tiny ones better.

      Liked by 1 person

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