Tuesday, January 12, 2010

balmy weather

When I went to bed last night it was still a whopping 34° outside!  Amazing that I could consider that good.  I've watched the plants in my yard "melt" from the ongoing freeze.  The pansies will be back and blooming in a week, and the bulb foliage will yellow but not bother the eventual blooms.  I'd love it if some ivy or privet died, but I suspect the worst of the invasive plants are also cold hardy.

Our driveway still has icy patches on it, as do shady streets.  Due to "budget cuts" Atlanta, it seems, has only four DOT vehicles to use on snow and ice.  I don't expect them to reach our side streets before June. And I doubt they'll be needed much more anyway.  The forecast is for warmer, more typical temperatures (50°) on Wednesday (which happens to be my birthday, just in case you wondered).  I will celebrate by getting the car washed!

Last week I started a load of laundry and left the room.  When I returned, the kitchen and laundry area were under water.  I was unable to see any wet source and I waited until later in the day, tried a load on small and all was well.  (Like the oven, the washer has done this before and then continued to work fine as if it had never acted broken.)  Yesterday I started a load and had work to do nearby.  Suddenly there was water spraying out of the discharge hose where it entered the wall.  A wonderful, friendly plumber suggested I look to see if we had antifreeze and pour it (or salt and boiling water if not) in the pipe.  An hour later the water level was lower- out of sight- and I hesitantly poured water in - so far so good- and then let my soapy laundry drain successfully.  I phoned him back to thank him.  I know good will won't pay the bills, but if you live in Atlanta and need a plumber, I'll happily give you his name.  (His brother was our bathroom contractor who was great too.)  So, frozen pipes in Atlanta.  Never happened to us before, so we weren't even careful.

The kids were off from school last Friday.  Everyone teases us in Atlanta for panicking when we get a half inch of snow. But I have to keep excusing the city.  To begin with, the weather maps showed us right in the middle ground between snow and rain.  "Wintery mix" seems to favor our area.  So anytime we get snow, we've also gotten rain.  If the temperatures dip, we're doomed.  The kids get excited to see snow, but the adults know the roads will be impassible.  So, in a city full of hills, schools get canceled when buses can't get around.

I took the boys to feed the ducks that day.  We bundled up in all we owned and looked like snowmen as we trundled down the street.  The lake by our house had frozen for the first time since I've lived here.  The ducks were at the top of the waterfall/drainage area, paddling in a small circle. We fed them a whole bag of perfectly good pita bread which seemed to make their day.  The boys found sticks and proceeded to smash the edge of the ice "to make a canal" for the ducks.  I gave the motherly advice that they be a bit careful so as to not fall in.  Bug calmly responded, "If I fall in I will find a shallow place."


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