14 November 2007

Shoveling the Boat

Snow shushes beneath my feet as it falls through the grate of the dock ramp to the water below. Thick fat snowflakes quickly coat my eyelashes, wet and white. The Disreputable Dog has gotten used to this route now although, like me, he is probably still wondering how we got ourselves roped into shoveling this boat. I mean, we don't even shovel at the house with the exception of the two steps. The rest will get packed down by feet and if I must drive I've got 4-wheel drive and can usually get out eventually. Even when it snows 5 ft in one snowfall (which it hasn't yet this winter) I don't shovel. The calm snow globe world has disappeared and I can hear the crash of the waves whipped into a frenzy even here in the calm protection of the bay. It's not a good day to be on a boat, I think. The sky is flashing lightning, which I don't think I've ever seen here, but it's muted by the clouds and there is no thunder. The wind is pulling at my scarf and my hat and I am glad that there are no exposed places for it to suck the heat away from me.
Soon I am warm enough from shoveling the heavy snow off the boat. Ever notice that shovels seem to have in-built heaters? My dog lies happily in the snow with his head resting on the side of the dock keeping an eye out for sea lions and seals but none appear. He is shedding his summer coat for the winter one right now. He loses about a dog a day. This time of year no chickadees hop over to pull it out for their nests (which, amazingly, he tolerates) and when I take the boat brush to him he luxuriates in it. Finally we are done and we walk back along the abandoned tourist shops. I like the dock sides a lot more in the winter when I have them to myself. No busloads of tourists unloading, no hundreds of pounds of fish being photographed and filleted. These shops are cute but they don't sell anything a local would need and so they are all shut and shuttered for the winter. The mountains loom over the sail masts as the soft snow quickly fills our lone footprints across the boardwalk and we head home to hot apple cider.


  1. "Ever notice that shovels seem to have in-built heaters?"

    it's been well over 8 years since I have lifted a snow shovel, and yet I remember this well.

    and hot apple cider...yum...

  2. I don't know how or why I stopped tracking your blog--but heavens, I'm glad to be back.

    Your post here reminds me why I adore descriptive writing. I am there with you!

  3. Wayfarer, I'd agree with Jocelyn. It's lovely to read such descriptive writing. I liven in a totally different environment and I shudder at even the thought of living where you do, but I feel as if I can experience it as I read your blog.

    I particularly love the image of the lone footprints filling with snow as you head off for that hot apple cider. I've had gluhwein at the Christmas Market in Nuremberg and it was so cold that I thought I'd freeze to the spot if not for the warm drink - is your hot apple cider like gluhwein?

  4. I grew up in a country with no winter, just summer all year round, and just reading this post made me cold! :-) But it sounds amazing. Perhaps one day I'll brave the cold and visit your world.

  5. ahh, the poet emerges,well done.I could feel the snow.The sunny desert dropped to 23degrees last night-quite bracing, but no snow.We have been without precipitation for several months.

  6. i've come to love the coastal temperate (soggy) climate, but the one big hole we have here much further south is no snow in the winter. we can get it with a two hour drive, or the every other year freaky storm, and even though snowball fights, snowy footprints, muffled sounds and the heat of shoveling are missing a lot in the secondhand, you ARE bringing it to life, and its nice. thanks!

  7. I hate to repeat what everyone else said but...yes, I was with you, ready to turn to you and ask when we were heading back for something hot. :)

  8. Of course the dog is lying happily on his side, you're doing all the work while he supervises. I work under the close supervision of house cats. I understand.

  9. How poetic and descriptive! Beautiful.

    You remind me of winter perfectly, here.

    I love reading about cold and snow.

    Oh reminds me of Smilla's Sense of Snow! Ah I love that book. Have you read it?

    My dog misses it most (a Lab!). He used to dig snow caves for himself.

    I think about Alaska maybe because (a) a friend just moved there (from the Southwest) and (b) it's probably as different from here as you can get in the same country.

    Using My Words

  10. Your blogs always leave me feeling cold, so you must be doing the descriptions well! Love the image of The DD allowing the bridie to pinch his coat - bless him.

  11. All, awww...you all are way too sweet, making such nice comments on my writing! Stop on by for some hot cider any day of the week - it's on the stove all winter long for cold wayfarers.

    jocelyn, welcome back! I thought maybe you were just lurking.

    parlance, similar to gluhwein but not quite as potent. But it has the same warming effect.

    ms chica, you know, there are some chores we are not allowed to do without supervion. I think it's in their contract.

    julie p, hello & welcome! I think this is the first time I've seen you here. And yes, I LOVE "Smilla's Sense of Snow". In fact, I think I need to re-read it since when I last read it I was on the equator and I might view it differently from here.

  12. Thanks for stopping by at mine - I like the look of this place so I'll have a proper browse around when I've the chance :)


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