Winter Storm 2014
In These Times

The Thaw

It's a bright sunny day, the temperature is a few degrees above freezing, and I'm hearing something I've only heard a few times in my life. The sound of the thaw: water running off the eaves, dripping from the trees, and here and there a more substantial sound as a bit of ice crumbles and falls. Apart from the last of these, it sounds more or less like the aftermath of an ordinary rain, but the cold makes it feel much different. I'd forgotten what a pleasure it is; a bit of compensation for those who live in colder places.


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Yes, I woke up the other morning and wondered what this noise was. I've never heard it before in my life. How weird that I would experience it in Houston!!!

Yeah, pretty funny--not just a warm climate but a notoriously hot and uncomfortable one. Imagine how nice that sound would be at the end of a serious winter.

When I lived in Boston, I became aware of the danger of falling icicles -- they grew mighty big up there. Had to always look up first before going out the door.

Never thought of them as being actually dangerous.

I guess they get pretty pointy and big. :o

The thawing sound would indeed be very nice at the end of a big winter.

There is a famous sequence of Peanuts cartoons in which Snoopy is trapped in his doghouse because a huge icicle had formed over it. He is trapped in fear for several panels, then escapes in the nick of time because Charlie Brown coaxes him out with a pizza.'s_doghouse?file=Pe600213.gif

I think it's great the way people construct these very detailed encyclopedic repositories of information about comics and similar things.

I was a Peanuts fanatic as a kid.

Oh. You're talking about the web page. I always wonder how people have that kind of time.

"...a bit of compensation for those who live in colder places."

Oh, we get all sorts of compensation: the way the sunlight sparkles on the snow like tiny diamonds, the silence when it is still and big snowflakes are drifting earthward, a world reduced to black and white and blue, etc. But our greatest compensation is only occasionally having humid days that are over 90 degrees instead of a whole summer of such.

It rarely got over 90 for very long last summer, which I guess was a harbinger of the unusual winter.

" people have that kind of time..." Yeah, I always wonder that, too. I'm glad they do it--nice for the rest of us.

That is odd; I lived way up north in Virginia years back and I remember endless 90s with 90% humidity or so. And no air conditioning. AND I was way younger...

Oh yeah, it was definitely unusually cool, also unusually wet. Part of the reason most of my grass died, I think.

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