This winter has been strange. We usually get about 100 inches (255 cm) of snow a year, but it usually is sprinkled throughout the winter season. This year, we had a huge storm in November, not much in December and not a lot in January until the last week of the month, and that seemed to unleash the snow monster. We've broken records for three-day totals and ten-day totals. The temperature has run a bit cooler than normal, too, so when the snow falls, it's been pretty fluffy. Bad for snowmen, good for shoveling where the back is concerned, and skiers are in ecstasy.
I feel that I should have consulted with someone who lives in Buffalo, New York, and get the skinny on snow management engineering because many of us are running out of places to put the snow when we wish to move it.
My plow man stopped by earlier in the week to push the snow farther back from my driveway. The top of the pile is easily over 12 feet (11 metres), and I realized with a bit of a start that I really needed to roof rake.
No, it's not some weird sporting event, they truly make rakes with extension handles that you can use to scrape the snow off the roof. The one I have has two long extensions, and while it's okay, it couldn't get the entire roof unless I were to do something crazy like stand on a ladder. Um, no. SFB told me that I could get extra extensions; that's what he does, and then I would be able to reach at least most of my roof and still keep myself firmly on the ground. He also casually mentioned that his wife couldn't really lift it when he had all five extensions on it, and I wondered if i'd be in the same boat. I don't think my upper body strength is appreciably greater than hers.
But, with another 2 feet of snow (61 cm) forecast, along with 60–70 mph (90–130? km/h) winds, I felt that I really needed to attend to the snow on the roof. Today was the day; i'd go to the local hardware store and see if they had something that would fit my roof rake. And just before I was going to head out, I looked at one of the local buy/sell/swap facebook groups where i'm a member, and saw a woman's post that her husband was looking for some extra shovelling or roof raking jobs. I sent her a message, and she responded right away. They were next town over, had to drive through my town to get home to theirs, and would stop en route. The husband, Kevin, was amiable, and glad to do it. We talked price, and he said he hadn't really done this for money before, wasn't sure what to charge.
I was probably too honest, but told him I had never paid anyone to do this and would have no idea of what the going rate would be. He figured it would take him about two hours, and I mentioned a figure that was a bit higher than I wanted to go, but I also felt the highest figure i'd go was really too low for the work involved. He agreed to the price right away, so I probably did say a generous price.
He went home for his tools and came back. No standing on the ground and doing the best he could for him. No sir, he hauled his industrial ladder out of his truck, got up on the roof as quick as a flash, and for the better part of two hours cleared away the snow. He shovelled all that fell onto the deck as a result, and we were both very happy.
I got the feeling after I paid him that he maybe really needed the money and recalled the times I was a waitress and on occasion, i'd get a really big tip, which I needed to make ends meet. It appears in my current season that I have a chance to pay it forward.
And frankly, the idea that my roof is ready for two more feet of snow to land on it and I didn't have to wear out my arms making that happen? Priceless.