Photo by Izzy Park on Unsplash

Snowed In

I am grateful that I can weather the storm.

And the snow just keeps falling. It’s nothing that I haven’t seen before, but we’re in that phase where new snow covers the old, this layer as soft as down — Hollywood snow — but beneath it is packed and crusty, interspersed with road grime and salt and ice.

What seems new to me is the cold and the snow coming together. I don’t think it has been above thirty degrees in two weeks, but the snow just keeps on falling. “Too cold to snow” has been a hope that at least gives a respite from one or the other. But not lately, it seems.

This morning, my pipes finally had enough as my largely unheated basement has been overtaken by the single-digit temperatures. My wife woke me to say that the bathtub pipes — those nearest to the brick wall of our three-flat building — had frozen. So it’s up to check the basement, to put small heaters near the tub pipes, to turn on the faucets.

I’d gone to sleep hoping that I could go for a long drive to clear my head about some things, but no.

The cold is still here, and the snow is still falling, and the roads are bad. Anyway, I need to make sure that my pipes don’t burst and that my tenants are okay. My family shouldn’t have to figure out these things without me.

I remember a deep freeze as a child that seemed to go on forever. When it finally warmed up, I was thrilled because the pipe in our home had frozen and we’d been without water for several days.

When the water finally started flowing again, we heard strange noises downstairs. The frozen water in our plumbing had done what I thought could not be done — expanded until it had cracked and split our cast iron pipes. There were a dozen areas where water sprayed like a sprinkler. We’d had to turn the water off until we could get it repaired. Our money was low and the demand for plumbers high.

It took a while.

I think we’ve been spared that fate today. So I’ll stay home, warm and dry, and keep an eye on things. If problems arise, we’ll solve them. If money needs to be spent, we’ll spend it. I’m still home, but a long way from the home I grew up in.

I write about masculinity, fatherhood, family, and relationships.

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