Monday, February 11, 2013

Building an Igloo in Fort Lee, NJ. Thanks NEMO (the storm not the fish)

So this past weekend I was bummed to find out there was a massive storm coming.  I had hopes of having an adventure somewhere with friends, but just like my sister who planned on going to Boston, the storm stopped us in our tracks.  Thankfully I listened to the weatherman for once.  Friday I caught up with sleep so that I could stay up all night shoveling.  I think at first this surprised my mother because the past few years when it snowed I was being an old grump and didn't want to shovel.  Not this year though! Any storm named after one of my favorite animated movie characters would get me excited.  It inspired the little kid in me and I had a plan!  I was going to build an Igloo/fortress.  Something my earliest childhood best friend newton and I bonded over building many times.  This one was for him and all my other friend who have dispersed over the last few years.  To the kid in all of us I built you all an monster!  I shoveled my snow, and stole snow from five of the neighbors houses.  Even after they had already shoveled their paths I would walk back and forth stealing all there well packed snow piles they had made.  Soon Mom started to notice my ever growing pile that I even got my sister outside to help make.

  Even Sam and Sonia briefly stopped by and put up with my madness.

   Before the end of the night I remember mom banging on the window and screaming at me to stop!  "What are you doing! stop piling all the snow on my front lawn!".  I should tell you all the truth that she is a patient saint of a person! who I take after a lot, but I also take after the hardheadedness of my grandmother.  Once I start doing something my way, I will continue my way.  By the end of the night I had a pile almost 6 ft tall, 6-8ft long and 4 feet wide.

  There was no snow on my sidewalks as well as even in the street in front of my house where the plows had pushed it.  I had successfully taken even the plowed piles from all the surrounding houses.  My arms and shoulders were the only thing that convinced me to stop and take a break to nap.  I left the pile to settle over night and planned to dig it out in the morning...but it continued to snow all night.  As I woke up in the morning I was ecstatic to see how much more snow there was.  I was full of energy even after only a few hours of sleep.  I found a pair of clothes out of the 4 sets of clothes I went through yesterday that was finally dry and grabbed my shovel.  It looked like I had done nothing the night before from looking at the sidewalk other than that massive pile sitting on my front lawn.  After an hour or so of shoveling out my house and adding to my pile some of the neighbors were out all working on finishing up there work.  As we are talking I see my neighbor on the corner and older man starting to shovel, he waves and thanks me for doing the little bit of path I shoveled out for him already.  I excuse myself from out little neighbor huddle and go to finish my work.  Right behind me follow the rest of the group.  My tenant Rena  and the neighbors across the way Eric and his father all pitch in.  what would have taken at least an hour for the old guy Gusman we finish in the flash of maybe 15 minutes.  He is so thankfully he really doesn't know what to say, but you can see it in the sincerity of his face his thanks.  After that everyone head in except for me, I painfully continue on my goal for the day.  My shoulder is throbbing but I clean all our snow even the street plus some of the piles from the other houses.  My piles is now at least 6ish ft tall, 4 ft wide and somewhere in the range of 16-18ft long.

    After a night lunch/snack break its time to start digging.  I don't even know where to begin so I just start closest to the tree.  Before long the shovel is to awkward to dig out with so I grab my kayak paddle to poke and prod out chunks of snow and Ice with.

 It is a hard long process.  slowly I carve out the inside enough to almost block my entrance before using my feet to kick out enough snow to make it out into the sunlight to shovel the entrance clean once again.  In my head I imagine I now know how it feels to be a sea turtle on the beach digging out the sand with its flippers.  Its awkward and hard but something keeps you pushing.

  I repeat the process over and over, only stopping for food breaks and to change into drier clothes.  Before long I have an awesome carved igloo cave. Even mom is outside and although she yelled and hated my pile yesterday is enthralled by its awesomeness.

  Although see won't stop with her nervousness about it caving in.  I use my better judgement on how much to carve out which seems to work.  I am not nervous at all because I gave the snow enough time to settle as well as its not my first rodeo.  I did this like a boss as a kid.  It only makes sense to go bigger and grander.

  My only regret is that my shoulder and arms are so tired I must stop and take breaks and never have time to decorate the outside into a more elaborate looking fortress!  Next time I'll have some friends as recruits to help throughout the process and I am sure it will be epic.  The Inner child in me is very impressed and utterly happy with my accomplishment.  Rule # (?) enjoy the little things!  CHECK!

Check out the Video for yourself