When we went to bed Friday night, we discovered water dripping in around one of our windows. It was dripping on to my carelessly stored artwork from college. So we moved a bunch of stuff out of the splash zone and put towels around the window and went to bed.
I kept waking up in the night hearing the dripping and thinking about all the water that must be pooling behind the ice dam just a few feet above our heads.
Saturday morning I was sitting in the sun room with my coffee and breakfast and was thinking about how to defeat the ice dam when Brian pointed out an ambulance coming down the road.
I saw it disappear behind the barn and was looking for it to reappear just past my grandparents house. But it didn’t. Then I could see it just a little bit between the trees and at first I thought it was pulling in to the driveway across the street, but it wasn’t. It was pulling in to our driveway and stopped by my grandparents house.
So I abandoned my breakfast and coffee and went out to hopefully find out that everything was ok, or see what I could do to help.
They were there for my grandpa, who seems to be ok now, though they’re keeping him in the hospital for observation which he will probably protest vehemently in a very agreeable way. He doesn’t like being in the hospital. I guess… who does?
After they left and it looked like nobody needed me for anything we headed back home to try to tackle the ice dam.
It’s pretty easy to climb on to the lower part of our roof. That side of the house is partially underground so it’s really just about 3 feet off the ground. I shoveled a path up to the higher roof where the ice dam was. Brian started chipping at it with a cats paw but the ice was at least 11 inches thick not including the wall of icicles hanging off of it.
I headed out to try to buy some ice melter. Tractor supply had none. Walmart had none. I ended up buying 3 big “things” of table salt because I had no better ideas.
At the check out line an old man, probably in his 80s or so tried to let me ahead of him, but he had the same amount of items as me so I declined.
He started chatting with me though I couldn’t really understand much of what he said. First it was about the price of Popsicles. Then cancer. Where not to go if you need a hearing aid because… wherever he went ripped him off. His dogs, one was beagle. The health value of yogurt, brewers yeast, and black strap molasses. Then while he was hunting through his pockets for a picture of his dog he told me about how his beagle was torn to pieces by 3 coyotes and how, if he’d had a gun, they would be 3 dead coyotes. I kind of wish I’d been able to understand him better.
It was not a dull conversation.
When I got home Brian was making some progress with the ice but it was slow going. He had tried a dull saw and then moved on to an ax which was working ok until the handle broke. Then he found a pick ax and I climbed up on the second roof and shoveled snow while he hacked that the ice…. carefully of course.
I didn’t post any photos of the pick axe to facebook. My parents are on vacation and I thought it would worry my dad if he saw them. We were so careful.
Eventually we got enough of a trench dug that it started draining a bit and stopped leaking in the house. We poured table salt all over it for good measure and headed inside for a coffee break.
Later I found that they had ice melter at Secor so I picked up a bag on my way to visit my Grandpa at the hopsital. He was sleeping when I got there so I didn’t end up visiting, just went home and Brian and I threw ice melter on the the thickest parts of the ice dam.
I had posted some photos of the ice dam to facebook so my dad called with some advice when they got back into cell range. So, at least next time I’ll have some good ideas.
Maybe all the chaos of the day wore me down or the new ciders I was drinking were a little strong because I fell asleep during Saturday Movie night… before 10 p.m.