Six consecutive months with snow, and now all at once it’s mid-December again. As I write, the temperature is headed for the teens, with the wind gusting to 35 mph. Yesterday it was over 60 degrees!
The sky clouded over in the morning. By afternoon we had heavy “horizontal snow,” our euphemism for what you’d call a blizzard. It lasted for hours. Fortunately the ground was warm enough to melt most of it as it fell, though we accumulated a couple of inches after the temperature dropped into the 20s. Since sunset there’s been nothing but wind.
Before the cold rolled in, I’d actually had time to clean the chimney on my wife’s studio next door. It isn’t all that hard, because most times I don’t do it right. What we have here is your basic climb-up-on-the-roof and knock-the-soot-off-with-a-stick routine. I use a 10-foot length of skinny plastic plumbing pipe that works quite well and gets me absolutely filthy. (This time I had wet snow in the face for a distraction.) Then I climb down off the roof and go clean the crap out of the Jøtul. It’s important to to already be dirty at that point, and I usually am. Today I also discovered that the initial soot dump into the stove had expelled a cloud of greasy black powder over a six-foot radius.
I had to carry a lampshade outside and tap it gently in the wind to dislodge the dust without leaving a mark.