Winter 2015: The Season of the Indomitable Human

Roof raking, roof melt puck tossing, and icicle batting are the new winter sports taking New England by, um, storm. Or at least the first two are. Icicle batting—using a bat, broom handle, mallet, or my particular favorite for its strength and length yet lightness, shower curtain rod to knock icicles from the roof gutters—is more of a specialized sport, reserved for the elite who have stalactite icicles the length of Shaq decorating the roof line. Variations to the sport include an extra-long outdoor hose which is pulled through the house and up the stairs where the competitor then pops out the upper story window screens and leans out into the frigid air to spray-blast those suckers into obliteration. None of this is to discount the more traditional events taking place across the region, no less grueling or daunting, of snow blowing, snow shoveling, and taking out the trash and recycling. We’re doing it all.

New Englanders are known to be independent and strong-willed, yet some of the best game plans instituted this year for victory over the opponent—WINTER 2015—have been by non-natives, hardy competitors from distant states or other countries. This is Olympic-level competition, and every bit as multicultural. We’re Team New England, up against snow piles registered, not in inches or even feet, but yards. And single digit temperatures? Amateurville. We’ve reached pro status, weathering double digit negatives on a regular basis.

This is dangerous stuff, and we’ve got the badges of honor to prove it. We’re agonizing through tasks as simple as pouring a cup of coffee because we wrenched our shoulder hurling pucks onto the roof. We’re counting the minutes until we can take more analgesics and dreaming of heating pads because we fell while attacking the roof snow. We’re laid out flat in bed, trying not to move or even breathe wrong, because a strong twist-and-swing with the icicle bat threw our back into spasms.

And yet, we’re doing it. We’re okay up here. Snow weary, yes. Bruised and achy, yes. Cabin feverish, yes. And yet. Even this record-breaking horror-of-a-winter hasn’t broken us. Jumping into snow banks out of those screenless second-story windows may, but until it does, we’ve got this.

Move aside, Abominable Snowman, although our current terrain would certainly present as the ultimate Disney-dream fantasy for you. No, let’s all take a moment to reflect, after we take several to catch our breath, and commemorate a different species altogether: Indomitable Human.